With public cloud offerings from hyperscalers continuing to dominate the market, businesses frequently find themselves with limited choice when looking for greater agility. Rob Smith, CTO at award-winning cloud services provider Creative ITC, explores how IT leaders can hurdle innovation barriers, de-risk cloud repatriation and accelerate their digital transformation projects.
Amazon, Google and Microsoft continue to overshadow other players in the cloud market, accounting for over £4 out of every £5 spent on public cloud services in the UK between them. Smaller cloud providers face a dwindling share of this fast-growing market as hyperscaler growth outstrips the competition. Vendors are concentrating their own efforts on public cloud technologies, shaping everything from NPD to leasing models towards these three public cloud giants.
The result is that cloud options are increasingly limited for businesses. Many MSPs aren’t able to offer clients anything other than public cloud solutions, meaning innovation in cloud services is hindered. Concerns over this lack of competition have led to an Ofcom investigation.
Despite these constraints, cloud repatriation continues to accelerate. Putting all your eggs in one basket has never been a wise business strategy and organisations are increasingly looking to modernise and right-size their IT infrastructure to meet changing business needs and budgets. For IT teams who have experienced both the positives and pitfalls of public cloud adoption, retrieving applications or workloads from the public cloud is becoming a valuable strategy.
Cloud repatriation trends and drivers
No matter the cloud environment, greater cloud consumption equates to higher operating costs. As IT leaders seek to lower operational costs and release budget for innovation, reducing day to day IT costs is the main driver of cloud repatriation.
Many have fallen victim to ‘hidden’ costs associated with public cloud adoption, such as hefty data egress charges, rapidly discovering the attractive entry prices for public cloud storage are a fraction of what they end up paying. Gartner has slated Microsoft, Amazon and Google for their aggressive pricing to tempt new customers. Almost all (96%) IT leaders who repatriated workloads and applications away from public cloud providers declared cost reduction as the main benefit.
Organisations are also unlocking other advantages by moving their cloud workloads. By migrating specific apps away from hyperscale providers, 85% of organisations have achieved better performance, management control and business agility. Security and compliance requirements are also leading many IT leaders to repatriate workloads and data away from public cloud environments. 95% of organisations said their security posture had improved as a result.
De-risking IT modernisation
Migrating apps and modernising legacy IT systems is not an easy task. Many IT leaders find themselves with the unenviable task of trying to manage old software that’s increasingly difficult to scale, integrate and secure. Apps are often licenced separately and hosted from multiple servers and virtual machines. Specialist industry specific apps may have been developed years ago by people no longer with the company. Lack of skills and resources, prohibitive costs, and complexities of integration and testing are common obstacles.
Although cloud innovation is impeded by hyperscaler monopoly, a new breed of specialist providers is emerging, offering solutions developed to help companies futureproof their IT and hurdle obstacles faced when modernising IT systems. Creative’s Modern Application Platform (MAP) is designed to de-risk legacy system updates, providing a one-stop solution for updating older software to the very latest languages and frameworks. Simplifying scary and costly cloud transitions, MAP stretches IT budgets using advanced Kubernetes and containerisation technologies. Firms also benefit from a simple consumption model, reducing costs and modernisation lead times and freeing up inhouse IT teams for digital transformation projects.
With the global cloud market expected to be worth nearly $600 billion this year, concentrating only on hyperscalers leaves a huge share of the cloud industry at risk of being ignored.
CTO, Creative ITC
Firms are increasingly seeking partners with expertise in repatriating applications and workloads from public cloud environments to accelerate IT modernisation and achieve their business goals sooner. To overcome resourcing issues, organisations are turning to specialist MSPs offering fully managed services, making it simpler to adapt quickly to evolving market conditions and business needs. Their skilled, experienced teams can advise on important cloud repatriation decisions, including whether to deploy a private, hybrid or multi-cloud setup, or use a co-location facility, and how to meet data governance and security requirements.
With the global cloud market expected to be worth nearly $600 billion this year, concentrating only on hyperscalers leaves a huge share of the cloud industry at risk of being ignored. While the big three continue to dominate the market, there are several smaller private cloud providers now offering firms the benefits of a cloud environment, while avoiding some of the pitfalls experienced with public cloud settings.
Switching to a fully managed Infrastructure-as-a-Service model for elements like storage, networking and compute within a private cloud setting is another option for IT leaders. Delivered by an MSP, IaaS can effectively stretch IT budgets and inhouse resources, offering savings on infrastructure, data centre space, licensing, support and headcount.
However, in the race to boost business agility and efficiency via the managed IT services route, firms must tread carefully. Digital transformation is growing increasingly complex. It’s vital to ensure new solutions and innovations not only meet future business needs but also dovetail seamlessly with legacy IT systems. Following closely behind infrastructure virtualisation, application virtualisation is now soaring. Yet compute and storage – and therefore virtualisation – are moving closer to the edge. Greater workload mobility, automated operations, and improved performance and availability of resources are more important than ever.
One way firms can minimize risk and unlock the greatest possible value from digital transformation projects is to seek out an MSP with a successful track record in their industry sector. These specialist partners are in the strongest position to provide tailored solutions to help IT teams to overcome their own unique set of industry and technology obstacles. Purpose-built technologies, private cloud offerings and fully managed services from this new breed of sector IT specialists will be invaluable in accelerating innovation to help businesses maintain a competitive edge.
ABOUT OUR GUEST WRITER
CTO, Creative ITC
As an experienced CTO with 17 years of industry experience, Rob is a results-driven technology leader with a passion for leveraging technology to drive business success. He has played a key role in the development and design of a cloud platform and managed services portfolio, and his expertise spans across the entire IT stack including cloud computing, virtualization, networking, storage, automation and other relevant technologies.
Rob is dedicated to staying current with new technologies and trends, and to leading teams that do the same. He is always eager to bring his expertise and leadership to new opportunities and drive positive change and growth for the companies he works with.