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Choosing the right cloud service provider shouldn’t be a chore

As the pandemic has accelerated digitalization and interest in cloud computing, finding the right cloud service provider can be a challenge in the absence of proper planning.

Most cloud service providers will advise businesses to have a strategic plan prior to embarking on their cloud adoption journey. This includes understanding cloud technology, the differences in options, and which aspects of the business will benefit from it.

However, many businesses are still struggling with choosing an appropriate cloud service provider — even if they possess a proper plan. Be it a hybrid, private, or public cloud adoption, the complexities associated with choosing the right cloud service provider may even impede productivity.

In Singapore, cloud adoption has been at its highest since the pandemic started. With remote working still commonplace, enterprises rely heavily on cloud service providers to ensure business goes on.

However, issues with cloud adoption are slowing them down, especially when it comes to data access, managing compliance, and securing the security of their employees and their devices.

Tech Wire Asia spoke to Ho Chye Soon, Singapore Country Manager for Nutanix, who will discuss how ASEAN businesses can navigate the complexities of cloud adoption and find the best cloud service provider to support their cloud strategies.

How are Singaporean businesses handling the complexities of cloud adoption?

Firstly, there is the issue of vendor lock-in. As the world of commerce grows increasingly complex and uncertain, agility and scalability remain top-of-mind considerations for business leaders to pivot their operations as necessary.

Organizations are applying this approach with their technology stacks as well — seeking to avoid being bound to one vendor once all IT environments and systems have been migrated to the cloud.

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Ho Chye Soon, Singapore Country Manager, Nutanix

To mitigate this, enterprises can look to integrate a hybrid multi-cloud solution, which grants businesses the flexibility to switch between multiple service providers and customize the offering of each to best suit their unique business needs.

Security is another consideration.

The cyber threat landscape is getting increasingly saturated, with new threats on the horizon each day. As such, businesses must build stringent security protocols into their operations, to safeguard sensitive business data during the cloud migration process. Otherwise, they risk exposing or losing critical data to malicious cyberattacks.

However, complex security systems may also fall short if workers are not equipped with the technical skills and know-how to navigate these processes. To address these pitfalls, businesses need to seek solutions from reliable cloud service providers.

Ideally, they’d offer simplified management consoles that are easy to navigate, which can be pivotal to helping businesses deploy their enterprise workloads safely and securely, with minimal difficulty.

As Singaporean enterprises grow their operations across borders, the issue of data compliance must also be navigated.  This is because regulations vary vastly across industries and nations. As a result, observing data sovereignty laws will require the use of multiple, geographically dispersed cloud environments.

Businesses can overcome this by leveraging hybrid multi-cloud solutions that offer them the flexibility to store massive amounts of non-sensitive data on public clouds while keeping private user data safe and secure on private clouds or on-premise infrastructure.

So is the hybrid multi-cloud the best option?

Though every industry may leverage the cloud for various means, the core desired outcome remains the same across the board — to optimize business operations for efficiency and increase their agility to adapt to the evolving needs of the enterprise.

Hybrid multi-cloud has proven itself to be the best option in addressing these two needs. A flexible hybrid multi-cloud solution enables businesses to select the cloud architecture and solution from multiple cloud service providers that best fit their needs — regardless if it’s a public or private cloud.

In fact, our Enterprise Cloud Index indicates that over 88% of Singaporean businesses find this to be the ideal cloud architecture for their business, because of the simplicity, scalability, and flexibility it offers, regardless of the industry.

Furthermore, being able to select from a subscription-based consumption model that delivers resources as needed enables businesses to scale with their demands, whilst eliminating resource wastage in the process.

All in all, hybrid multi-cloud also provides the smartest economics for businesses, enabling organizations to reduce their total cost of ownership by leveraging existing investments, processes, and skillsets accordingly — thereby eliminating the need for organizations to overhaul their entire operations at once.

How can businesses choose the right cloud service provider then? 

The volatility of the pandemic has meant that remote work will continue to be the default for Singaporean businesses in the near term. Regardless of whether this arrangement will persist in the long run, businesses must prepare for a future in which hybrid work becomes a  hallmark of the new normal.

Enterprises will thus need to rapidly deploy their workers to access high-performance workloads and applications anytime, and from anywhere. As a result, we expect to see a greater momentum of workloads being migrated to the cloud, to deliver the “on-demand” office experience.

Specifically, the pandemic has shone a spotlight on virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) as reliable, scalable technologies that support a sustained transition to a remote workforce.

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Choosing the right cloud service provider should meet your business’ core needs — and not just to support remote working activities such as virtual meetings.

Major companies, like leading Japanese automaker Toyota, have fast realized this — and are leveraging solutions such as our hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) to build VDI-driven environments that can run their 3D CAD Design Software remotely, delivering new ways of working for its Engineering Design Group.

Ideal cloud service providers will offer customers flexibility, which can come in how services are priced, such as through a subscription-based pricing model. This will help businesses deploy hybrid multi-cloud solutions in a straightforward way.

Customers should also be able to have the flexibility and freedom to decide what their ideal cloud environment will look like, how and when they can pay for their cloud infrastructure, and how to map the best hardware to their software.