Untangling Cloud Platform Complexity

4 min read

Distributed cloud services are the key to flexibly evolving existing traditional applications and disparate IT environments into efficiently coordinated workflows that can be centrally managed.

Results of an IBM-commissioned Forrester study entitled “The Right App on the Right Cloud: Untangling Cloud Platform Complexity” indicate that everything about applications continues to rapidly evolve. As expected, there is a continuous rise in use of both public and private cloud container platforms and virtual machines (VMs). Companies aim to gain competitive advantages and build lasting relationships with customers through digital experiences.

Responses from decision-makers reflect a struggle in navigating the complexity of running existing traditional applications while also using multiple cloud platforms for different purposes.

How companies handle the challenges brought on by the growing complexity of cloud platforms and digital transformation will impact their long-term sustainability and success. Specifically, there are three key challenges companies must overcome:

  1. Maintaining existing systems: With the pressure to modernize systems and innovate new solutions, IT leaders find it difficult to maintain their existing systems and traditional applications. Maintaining them is often at unsustainable capital and labor costs.
  2. Building consistently and securely: IT architects spoke to the difficulty of building and deploying with consistency across different systems and platforms. This is particularly true in regard to consistent security. Based on the survey from Forrester, 81% of respondents are concerned about consistent security.
  3. Finding and sourcing the right skills: IT and application development leaders say their top challenge is a lack of skilled staff and resources for development and deployment across multiple platforms. These leaders know their potential innovation and modernization will be held back by a lack of the right cloud native DevOps skills.

Untangling cloud platform complexity with distributed cloud

Using a distributed cloud provides an end-to-end solution to these three challenges:

  • You choose the environment — on-premises, on different clouds, in edge locations — where cloud services are consumed.
  • Your cloud services are consistent across your architecture.
  • Your teams use their established pipeline to modify apps as needed and deploy to different environments with these same pipelines.
  • Your onboarding of new team members involves a single set of tools and processes.

To maximize the benefits of an end-to-end distributed cloud solution, companies can rely on services partners like IBM to manage everything that underlies the services. By limiting use of cloud platforms to services consumption and operating the applications running on them, teams remain focused on their customers’ needs.

Leaders look to the power of services partners

According to survey respondents, the benefits of getting started quickly and early outweigh the challenges of complexity when you have the right services partner. What does this mean for partners? Companies want services partners to help them address the challenges of hybrid, multicloud platforms with three key components: tools, architecture and knowledge.

Modern tools

Modern container-based platforms — which are hybrid cloud and multicloud solutions by design — allow clients freedom to innovate and modernize on-premises, in a public cloud or at the edge. Services partners like IBM offer cross-cloud management tools to give DevOps teams a consistent experience across platforms. For IBM Cloud, the solution is IBM Cloud Satellite™, a distributed cloud offered as a service.

IBM Cloud Satellite customers gain flexibility to run their apps where it makes sense for their business — on-premises, in colocation centers, in a public cloud or at the edge — and retain the security and operational benefits end-to-end. Being able to provision tools and platforms in secure, scalable ways is crucial for companies trying to modernize without significant and costly growing pains.


Respondents want partners who understand how to incrementally modernize traditional applications and architectures. They rely on services partners who understand the implications and needs that come with extending security beyond an on-premises data center.

Many organizations need to run applications in close proximity to where data is collected to meet low-latency demands and regional-residency requirements. With IBM Cloud Satellite, through its implementation of locations and the links between them, teams can use a single identity and access experience across environments without needing to connect through the internet.


Respondents want to call upon cloud platform services partners to fill key skills gaps. From development to deployment, the goal is to have a partner to teach those in the company how to build better apps, operate more efficient and secure platforms, and continue to modernize for the future.

Essentially, leaders want a distributed cloud solution from a partner with the resources, services, tools and institutional knowledge to support their solution and make it work for the enterprise. With IBM Cloud Satellite, organizations can use the IBM Garage™ to align all teams involved in meeting customer needs and help level up the cloud native skills that developers need to rapidly build and release minimum viable products. From there, they can iterate based on customer feedback.

Get started with IBM Cloud Satellite

The recent pandemic has accelerated a transformation of traditional IT, and few companies are prepared to move forward without support. Many companies seek the right services partner with a secure, versatile and cost-effective solution to address present and future needs. IBM Cloud Satellite relieves application development teams of redundant IT chores and provides access to an extensive catalog of services that support application innovation. This end-to-end solution gives companies the time, resources and competitive advantage needed to evolve user experiences into lasting customer relationships.

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