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CenturyLink exec talks benefits, obstacles of multi-cloud adoption

Multi-cloud adoption has become a reality for businesses looking to drive agility and innovation. According to the recent RightScale Inc. "State of the Cloud" report, 81% of companies currently use a multi-cloud strategy.

At the recent Gartner Symposium in Orlando, Fla., we asked Scott Brindamour, senior director of the architect team for cloud hosting and IT services at CenturyLink, how multi-cloud adoption helps drive company innovation.

In this video, Brindamour explains the importance of planning when it comes to multi-cloud adoption and how it can also help organizations improve innovation. He also shares best practices for choosing the right cloud platform and explains why optimizing existing cloud use should be a priority in the multi-cloud environment.

Editor's note: The following transcript has been edited for clarity and length.

How does multi-cloud adoption help a company with innovation?

Everyone knows that moving to the cloud helps with the agility side, but customers are really using it to go into new markets.
Scott Brindamoursenior director of the architect team, CenturyLink

Scott Brindamour: Today, customers are looking to grow their business, lower their costs and change the way they're operating. Everyone knows that moving to the cloud helps with the agility side, but customers are really using it to go into new markets. But not every cloud makes sense for every application. People are, therefore, adopting multiple cloud venues in order to move their apps, whether for location purposes or for data privacy. Customers are just looking to do things easier with more automation. There are a lot more choices on where they can go with the cloud and it's driving that multi-cloud trend.

Automation and standardization are also making it easier. You can spin up clouds pretty quickly, manage them and spin them back down as well. With data moving to the edge, customers are adopting more venues for their applications at the edge in order to handle and process that data and make intelligent decisions quickly.

For companies moving forward with multi-cloud adoption, what's the best approach for determining the right cloud for their apps?

Brindamour: The first thing you need is planning. A lot of customers just take their applications and lift and shift to the cloud. A little bit of planning [to start with], and then getting more rigorous on the planning to understand the application, is important: Will it work on a different platform? Does it have to be totally replatformed? Do I have to redevelop the app to work appropriately? They also have to understand the cost ramifications: How much is it going to cost to lift and shift the app? If I ever have to redo the app, will it make sense to move it?

While data privacy and data localization is a big issue, so is your ability to manage and operate a cloud environment. Each cloud operates in different ways and each of them has capabilities that the other clouds don't have. So, taking advantage of all those capabilities and knowing how to manage the apps to scale it [is important], because otherwise all you're doing is moving your app somewhere else.

You have to continue to optimize how you're operating in those environments and automate those procedures and processes by using technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning to reduce the manual work. That's something I see customers really struggling with when it comes to multi-cloud adoption: how to operate in that multi-cloud environment and how to do that efficiently and effectively.

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