Differing organizational views can complicate the cloud journey
The cloud journey continues to see new challenges as businesses keep getting the most out of it. What started as technology to enhance storage capabilities has now enabled organizations to perform beyond their expectations. Be it a cloud-native business or a 100-year-old organization that has moved operations online, the cloud has delivered what it was designed to do.
However, with greater needs from an organization, especially in meeting customer demands, it’s all about speed today. For most organizations, the cloud has to process workloads that can improve productivity, enhance business offerings, and also enable recovery from disruption. Even businesses that took a cautious approach in their cloud journey, found themselves moving faster to the cloud, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, any organization that wants to remain relevant in the digital world would be making the most of the data available to them. And the best way of doing that is by leveraging the many capabilities offered by the cloud.
But here’s where it can get tricky. While financial and regulated industries need to take a cautious approach to the cloud, most organizations were investing in the cloud without a proper strategy in place. The public cloud, which most organizations rely on, is provided by big tech companies.
The public cloud was the most economical approach to digital transformation, but there were limitations when it came to meeting regulatory requirements for some industries. The private cloud-enabled these industries to make the most of the cloud capabilities on-premises. Yet, even this wasn’t enough for organizations.
This is where the multi-cloud comes in. Using a variety of cloud services from different providers, businesses could spread out their workloads and data, and worry less about regulatory and also cybersecurity issues.
Today, apart from providing their own cloud capabilities, cloud vendors also insist that they have no issues with organizations using more than one cloud provider for their workloads, app development, storage, backup and such.
Complicating the cloud journey
However, according to the 2023 Cloud Complexity Report by NetApp, 98% of senior IT leaders have been impacted by increasing cloud complexity in some capacity, potentially leading to poor IT performance, loss in revenue and barriers to business growth. The findings are based on a global survey by NetApp on how technology decision-makers are navigating cloud requirements coming from digital transformation and AI initiatives and the complexity of multi-cloud environments.
Ronen Schwartz, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cloud Storage at NetApp commented, “as cloud adoption accelerates and businesses innovate faster to compete, technology leaders are facing growing pressure to juggle multiple priorities at once – causing many to rethink how they manage efficiency and security in this new environment.”
“Our global survey data demonstrates the extreme complexity of modern IT environments, and the pressure technology executives are under to show measurable outcomes from cloud investments. At NetApp, we’ve simplified the complex through our approach, which enables technology executives to increase the speed of innovation, lower costs and improve consistency, flexibility and agility across on-premises and cloud environments,” said Gabie Boko, Chief Marketing Officer, NetApp.
Businesses need to understand why they are using the cloud
When it comes to data, its exponential growth has led to complexity for organizations globally. The survey showed that tech executives are feeling the pressure to contain its impact on the business. In Asia Pacific (APAC), the top business impacts due to the increasing complexity of data across their cloud environments are increased skepticism over the cloud from leadership (47%), staff not taking full advantage of business applications (47%), increased cybersecurity risk (45%), and lack of visibility into business operations (41%).
Looking at the cloud strategy, ESG has become an unexpected cloud driver. Nearly half of the tech executives (49%) also stated that when cloud strategy discussions happen, cost concerns come up often or all the time. Data regulation and compliance is another cloud driver, with various local regulations promoting their multi-cloud strategy most or some of the time.
In APAC, 86% of tech executives are already expected to show results across the organization. The pressure to already show ROI on cloud investment is highest in India and Singapore, where 9 out of 10 tech executives feel it. Furthermore, 80% of executives in APAC say cloud systems are developed with sustainability goals specifically in mind. Within the region, Singapore (72%) and Japan (69%) lead in featuring the cloud prominently in their sustainability strategy. Three out of four tech (75%) APAC executives also say their multi-cloud strategy is driven by data sovereignty requirements.
AI-driven cloud applications
AI-driven applications are adding more complexities to the cloud journey as well. In the next year, over a third (37%) of tech executives report that half or more of their cloud deployments will be supported by AI-driven applications. Nearly half of the tech executives at smaller companies – those with fewer than 250 employees – expect to reach the 50% mark in the next year, and 63% by 2030, while larger companies lag.
Globally, the report shows that the U.S. leads EMEA and APAC on plans to deploy AI-driven cloud applications in the next year, with France and Japan as outliers in their regions. In APAC, 56% of tech executives report that half or more of their cloud deployments will be supported by AI-driven applications by 2030. This presents a long-term growth opportunity for AI-driven applications in the region.
“APAC leaders today recognize the cloud’s importance in producing critical business outcomes such as data sovereignty and sustainability. By addressing the cloud complexity confronting their organizations, they can unlock the best of the cloud and innovate faster to compete,” commented Matthew Swinbourne, CTO of Cloud Architecture at NetApp Asia Pacific.
As organizations increasingly move to multi-cloud environments, NetApp aims to alleviate efficiency bottlenecks by allowing IT leaders to manage their systems on one, streamlined user interface. By taking an evolved cloud approach, NetApp is leading the charge for next-generation cloud management and storage – equipping teams with the tools necessary to stay abreast of the key trends outlined in the research report above (e.g., optimizing costs, assessing risks, and operating sustainably).
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