Adoption of public cloud technologies has accelerated dramatically in 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, among other factors. However, this rapid adoption has also magnified many barriers to successful implementation.

One element contributing to failure is unclear expectations, resulting in environment sprawl, loss of control and rapid cost escalations. Cloud is not simply another technology, but an entirely new way of operating. A multi-level planning approach is critical, and the use of expert technical advisory services can help businesses cover all the angles for maximum return on investment.

Accelerating out of control

“While cloud has been on the radar for businesses, they were effectively forced to make the jump this year to accommodate growth and a remote workforce. This generally requires a hybrid cloud approach using both public cloud and private cloud services. However, without adequate planning and preparation, these multi-cloud implementations tend to unravel,” says Ryan Skipp, product manager for managed cloud services at T-Systems.

“The result is a complex infrastructure with multiple deployments and data scattered across clouds, regions and even different countries without proper controls. Lack of strategy around who is permitted to order what services and how consumption will be managed are the most common issues that arise, and this is a big problem, particularly for legislated companies with a focus on compliance,” he adds.

Prevention is better than cure

Gaining control of the landscape retrospectively and undoing potential exposures with limited or no visibility is a difficult ask. The problem is that the cloud is too easy to consume. Easy integration, global reach and instant scalability lead to massive environment sprawl without adequate boundaries and controls.

“Cloud migrations are unlike any other IT project in one critical way – they are not just about the technology. You cannot simply consider the technical aspects in isolation. It is critical to also take into account governance, security, business continuity and cost projections. Proper planning from the outset is essential to avoiding many challenges associated with the implementation of a cloud environment. Consultancy services, especially technical advisory, can help to close the gap,” says Riaan van Schalkwyk, solution design manager at T-Systems.

Looking at the bigger picture

“Technical advisory services help you get this right by assisting businesses to understand both their initial and long-term objectives for the cloud and cloud services, and the benefits they are hoping to achieve. This involves planning at multiple levels,” says Skipp.

Consultants can help businesses work out viable levels of change at each layer that can reasonably be achieved within a given timeline. Expectations can be set and adoption projects launched in focussed phases, with clear mandates.

Keeping it real

The public cloud is not just a new technology for an IT administrator to learn, it is a fundamental change to the operational environment. The assumption that business will simply understand and align with the new rules and governance is a dangerous one.

“Many businesses have gone down the cloud route only to discover some months later that users have deployed cloud tools in regions all over the world, made data copies there, and transitioned well away from company standards and security. Consultancy services are the ideal bridge to help businesses plan, review their plans, and ensure that they have covered all of the angles before making a wrong move,” Skipp concludes.