After a decade of debate regarding the viability of cloud services as a strategic alternative to traditional, on-premise legacy systems and software, the war of words is over. Now nearly every SMB and enterprise is looking at how to incorporate cloud alternatives into their business operations.
However, in many cases these organizations are also discovering that today’s cloud services are adding a new layer of complexity to their existing IT environment rather than simplifying their situations.
As organizations move to the cloud, IT professionals and their business counterparts have to determine which workloads should and can be migrated. Then, they have to decide which cloud service provider (CSP) to assign the workload to and how to properly migrate the data so it is readily available.
But, with the intensifying competition between the major CSPs this task has become more complicated. As Microsoft Azure and other CSPs have become viable alternatives to Amazon Web Services (AWS), they have also become a mixed blessing for IT managers.
Many are pleased that Microsoft has finally become a cloud-first company so these organizations can move their Microsoft application and database oriented workloads to Azure. Others like the enterprise focus of IBM and Oracle, or the quality of Google’s services. However, organizations now face a new set of challenges trying to manage multiple cloud providers.
AWS continues to dominate the market with $4.1 billion in sales in its most recent fiscal quarter, a nearly 42% jump from the same period a year ago. But, Infoholic Research has found nearly 82% of enterprises plan to have a hybrid cloud strategy by 2017 and predicts the hybrid cloud market will grow at a CAGR of 34.3% through 2022 period when it will equal $241.13 billion worldwide.
RightScale’s sixth annual State of the Cloud Survey Report published in January 2017 also found 85 percent of the enterprise IT professionals have a multi-cloud strategy in place. The survey found the widening array of cloud alternatives is not only creating a “buyers’ market,” but also producing a shortage of resources and expertise to manage and secure this hybrid/multi-cloud environment in a cost-effective fashion.
The initial premise of the cloud was that it could provide a quicker and easier way for organizations to obtain computing power and data storage. And, the pay-as-you-go pricing model was supposed to make cloud services a more economical alternative to the heavy upfront costs and ongoing maintenance of on-premise systems. Now, many organizations are facing the same multivendor management challenges in the cloud they confronted in their corporate data centers and IT operations in the past.
The escalating complexities of the cloud are fueling the demand for a broader set of consulting and managed services. The worldwide managed services market is expected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.1% through 2022 when it will equal $257.84 billion, according to the Research and Markets market research firm.
These are the realities which have led HP Enterprise (HPE) to recently acquire Cloud Technology Partners (CTP) so it can better assist its corporate customers with their cloud migration efforts. These trends also spurred Rackspace to bolster its multi-cloud managed services capabilities by acquiring Datapipe.
As the rate of acquisitions grows in response to the rising complexity of cloud service adoption, it raises the question about when the economic value of moving to the cloud could be reversed, since the pendulum always seems to swing backwards with every business cycle.