Transitioning to a multi-cloud environment can be a complex process, especially for the enterprise. Below, Unitas Global’s Chief Finance Officer, Bob Pollan, lays out the details every company should consider for their multi-cloud journey and how Unitas can be a trusted partner in the process.
What is important to understand when transitioning to a multi-cloud environment?
If you were to reflect on the state of the market, the whole digital transformation movement involves $2 trillion in spend. Relative to the $2 trillion in overall IT spend, the enterprise journey to the cloud or multi-cloud is very much in its infancy. AWS is the biggest player, with only a small fraction of the overall spend, then Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud holding even smaller percentages.
In many instances enterprise CTOs and CIOs have huge pressure from CFOs to reduce costs. The CIO is in the position of looking for agility and facilitating innovation in the enterprise and in the marketplace. Innovation is what drives the relationship with clients and the more you understand the clients’ needs, the more you can help your clients innovate and grow their businesses.
Currently in the enterprise space, there are different levels of understanding surrounding cloud and multi-cloud. Everyone knows they need to migrate to cloud as data centers begin aging out. Transitioning to cloud allows enterprises to focus their key IT resources on differentiating, driving real applications, and taking advantage of all horizontal and vertical SaaS offerings.
A lot of enterprises are very early in understanding what their cloud strategy is and what they need to do to maintain a competitive advantage. Before deploying to cloud, enterprise IT teams must understand the benefits and trade-offs to methodically execute their migration with all of the risks in mind. When Unitas Global comes on board to assist with optimization of multi-cloud systems, we often find that enterprises are not fully optimized because they lack knowledge, controls, and visibility. We have to remember, however, that we are still in the early stages of enterprise multi-cloud adoption. Once enterprises have a more holistic view of multi cloud, we can start analyzing their optimization from a more mature perspective with more controls to manage cloud spend.
What are the challenges the enterprise faces when transitioning to a multi-cloud environment?
To use a house as an example, if enterprises don’t have an initial blueprint, everyone is building different pieces of the house, and it ends up being a pretty strange looking house. If enterprises don’t sit down at the beginning and map out their needs, they won’t be able to effectively optimize their cloud spend. A comprehensive review of the enterprise’s current IT infrastructure, inclusive of connectivity, is essential to begin. What often happens and where cloud spend often gets out of control is enterprise departments begin running off in different directions pursuing their individualized interests. As such, these enterprises are locally optimized, but not globally optimized.
On top of the internal challenges, enterprises face all of the cloud service providers driving to maximize their own revenue. IT leaders shouldn’t be surprised if they end up in a situation where a service provider has failed to take a holistic view of the enterprise’s specific needs, and therefore their IT is not fully optimized. With management tools, like Unitas Atlas™ , enterprise IT leaders are provided visibility into the entire cloud environment, including connectivity to better understand where there is room for optimization. There is no acknowledged tool sets that shows absolute best practice because it is still early in the cloud adoption process.
What services does Unitas Global offer clients regarding cloud services?
To optimize and maximize ROI, enterprises and their service providers have to go back to the basic principles: objectives, goals, and constraints. Unitas Global’s comprehensive set of tools, services, and capabilities under our Unitas Atlas™ offering allow us to identify, audit, and review what would be the most optimized architecture. We then present our plan to the customer’s key stakeholders and arrive an environment that best fits the client’s needs. If you think about it like a human body, if an individual has weak arms and legs, they have to embark on a program that will strengthen each muscle group individually to better serve the entire body. The same is true with cloud optimization. First you must diagnose the problems and then solve for each.
How does Unitas Global address the unique challenges each enterprise faces when transitioning to a multi-cloud strategy?
It’s part of the consultative engagement process we have with the client rather than a specific service. What is essential is understanding the clients’ needs. Our cloud solution architects use their broad knowledge of all of the cloud platforms to make the most efficient and cost-effective recommendations. The best service an MSP can offer clients is having the right people with the right background to bring their expertise to the table to best understand the objectives and constraints at hand to prescribe a go-forward path.
Does Unitas Global offer services around remediation of cloud cost issues? Is this a common issue Unitas Global handles?
For sure, there is remediation if you take a look at what you are spending versus what you should be spending. We believe that as multi-cloud becomes more pervasive there will be more opportunity for enterprises. This happens in every technical industry. As people continue to adopt a new technology, best practices and better sets of economics always emerge. Multi-cloud users will have opportunities to focus on the cost side of the equation as they see usage patterns, pricing changes, and new offerings coming to market. Service providers will also continue to innovate and MSPs should provide agility, efficiency and should be a platform for innovation to increase flexibility and allow enterprises more opportunity for growth .