Demystifying the cloud

Susan Bowen, Vice-President & General Manager, EMEA 


As the cloud has become better understood, the value proposition for IT and business leaders has shifted from price-point discussion to business outcome discussions. The questions now are about what customers expect from us, and how we leverage the power of the cloud to innovate and exceed those expectations. Enterprises are looking at it application by application: what works best where; what are its performance, or network requirements; what is the appetite for risk; is this cloud vendor a competitor, or is it likely to become one? The agility and flexibility of the cloud makes it a powerful business tool whereby control, visibility and management are crucial to harness its potential.

Cloud is being leveraged to provide innovation in an instant – having capabilities available when required, instead of the traditional model of spending capital to purchase and wait for infrastructure to be built prior to its use to service customers. Cloud can be private, or public, with private being better suited for predictable workloads that have peaks and troughs, and a business model around consumption economics. Ask yourself this: How long is your IT department taking to provision and provide a VM from when the request was created by your development or business team? Run the metrics and you’ll see the business case for cloud.

How will the cloud develop in the next five to 10 years?

Firstly, the cloud wars are over: the future is hybrid and multi-cloud. Hybrid solutions should mean that workloads automatically move to the most optimised and cost-effective environment, based on performance needs, security, data residency, application workload characteristics, end-user demand and traffic. This could be the public cloud, private cloud, on-premise, or a mix of all three.

There is an application architecture refactoring that is required to make this happen. Application architecture will shift from the classic three-tiered format to an event-driven one . Cloud providers are therefore pushing for these features to be widely adopted for cloud-native applications.

Cloud vendors are adapting to reach back into on-premise data centres, and as enterprises evolve to adapt hyper-scale public clouds, cloud partnering with VMWare, and Microsoft’s launch of Azure Stack, will burst onto the scene. This trend will continue over the next five to 10 years, with the consumption nature of the cloud growing in uptake.


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