IT leaders weigh in on the value of moving enterprise apps to the multicloud

How matching the right workloads to the right cloud makes a difference

By | 3 minute read | December 3, 2019

In the next three years, 98 percent of companies plan to adopt a multicloud architecture. Yet many are grappling with the complexity of integrating crucial workloads such as Oracle and SAP applications in hybrid multicloud environments.

According to a recent IBM Market Development and Insights (MD&I) study, 43 percent of IT leaders cited a shortage of in-house talent to manage these environments. To combat this gap, over half use at least one service provider.

The study reveals that most IT leaders see significant advantages to running enterprise applications in the multicloud, including cost savings, flexibility and scalability. IBM Services Offering Manager Joe Gallego added perspective on what’s driving adoption: “It’s about speed and agility — if you’re not able to make changes in your system quickly enough, your competitors will get there first.”

The next chapter of cloud adoption

Businesses need a digital transformation strategy that goes beyond cloud-native applications and includes migrating legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to the cloud.

“Many customers began their move to the cloud by deploying customer-facing and cloud-native applications. Most ERP workloads have been managed on premises for years; migrating them to the cloud is where the challenge and the opportunity exist,” said Gallego.

The MD&I study found that 43 percent of IT leaders cited the ability to match specific workloads to the right cloud vendors as a major benefit of running enterprise apps in multicloud environments. This optimization strategy has several benefits, including:

  • Scalability: The ability to scale efficiently is a key advantage of multicloud, and 44 percent of IT leaders agree. A single cloud infrastructure provides scalability, but a multicloud approach supercharges this by allowing businesses to scale workloads into cloud environments best suited for particular tasks.
  • Potential cost savings: Public clouds provide inherent savings such as only paying for the computing power you need and offloading infrastructure costs. Distributing workloads to cloud vendors based on their relative strengths can provide additional efficiencies. Forty-nine percent of IT leaders using multicloud environments realize lower costs.
  • Flexibility: IT leaders are concerned with vendor lock-in if they rely on a single cloud provider. This single-vendor strategy could lead to inefficiencies and significant disruptions if a change in cloud providers is needed. Again, distributing enterprise workloads across multiple cloud vendors minimizes risk and helps companies avoid the limitations of vendor lock-in.

Better visibility

The MD&I report also brings to light the benefits of having a single managed service provider that is able to manage workloads regardless of what cloud they run on. Of those leaders surveyed, 59 percent stressed that using one vendor to manage enterprise applications across clouds is a considerable advantage. The appeal? A single vendor provides teams with a consolidated view into workloads, including security and compliance monitoring across multiple clouds. It also helps provide economies of scale for management resources and optimizing cloud use and spend.

“From a financial perspective, I want to see ROI based on my costs for a specific vendor and a specific task, so I can see where I’m getting the best bang for my buck,” said one CTO who participated in the MD&I survey.

Another insight: The majority of respondents (70 percent) said having a single view of applications across multicloud infrastructures is a priority. “It’s about simplicity and having one user interface for a consistent experience across the board,” said Gallego.

Ultimately, a multicloud approach may increase the complexity of IT operations, but the benefits can help organizations accelerate enterprise applications to more effectively mine data, deliver new applications and services and increase competitive advantage.