Kathy Gibson reports – The cloud computing environment is constantly changing and organisations can no longer afford to have a single platform approach.

This is the word from Craig Parker, head of hybrid cloud: Europe at Fujitsu, who believes the correct value proposition for the cloud is in allowing customers to use the right iteration of cloud that works for their business.

He shares new IDC research that shows the top three business priorities of innovation, operational efficiency, and resilience are being held back by challenges in current cloud environments.

These challenges are management, return on investment (ROI), sustainability, costs, regulatory compliance, application performance, workload modernisation and performance, skills shortages, and a need for greater security and data protection.

Against this backdrop, CIOs admit that a big proportion of their public cloud spend is wasted with many exceeding cloud spend by two to three times without comparable returns. Half of the CEOs polled also admit to being very concerned about growing cloud expenditures.

“Without rebalancing, organisations cannot build a long-term digital future,” Parker says. “And this hybrid cloud balancing act goes back to Fujitsu’s strategy of the right cloud for the right workload. It’s about balancing the public cloud with focused provider, on-premise computing and private cloud.”

Four years ago, in the pre-Covid world, organisations were moving to the cloud to speed up innovation and meet their digital transformation mandates.

During Covid and immediately afterwards, it was all about resiliency – keeping the lights on, and balancing in-office with remote working.

“But the current macroeconomic pressures, high public cloud costs, and regulatory pressures are forcing organisations to rebalance their priorities,” Parker says.

“Yes, public cloud remains a key building block for innovation. But an over-pivot to the public cloud has resulted in cloud cost challenges. Today, those rising costs are making efficiency and optimisation a top priority and forcing a rethink of existing cloud strategies.”

Organisations are still spending – 78% of European organisation plan to either increase or maintain IT spending levels in 2023 compared to 2022 – but they are looking more carefully at how that spending happens.

“The spend now is primarily focused on governance, infrastructure operations, and optimisation to deliver on efficiency and resilience priorities,” says Parker. The top two areas of IT that are immune to budget reductions relate to resilience and efficiency, he adds. They are security, risk and compliance; and optimising the IT infrastructure.

Fujitsu is working with its partners and customers to help them find the right answers – and advocating the right cloud for the right workload is coming through as the sensible approach.

“Customers are now adopting a workload-first strategy rather that a cloud-first strategy,” Parker says. “And what the right platform is, is being determined by issues like data sovereignty, governance, latency, scalability, performance, speed and agility. These determine what an application needs – and where the best place is to look after them.

“All infrastructure types co-exist, but workload-first cloud strategy matches workloads with the infrastructure; helps to prioritise investment in the right infrastructure for maximum value; and highlighting the value of hybrid cloud provides a starting infrastructure for hybrid cloud management.”

As organisations look to improve their operational efficiencies, digital leaders are doubling down on 10 areas to maximise their hybrid cloud operations.

These are sustainability, cost optimisation, developing CloudOps skills, observability tools, digital sovereignty, network/security operation centres, cloud centre of excellence (CCoE), automated governance/governance as code, AIOps/intelligence analytics, and the automatic creation of landing zones.

Another shift that is driving the move to hybrid cloud is the fact that personal relationships are once again proving their value.

“For a while, people though that innovation only came from the hyperscalers, but they are remembering that the IT vendors and partners who are also innovative,” Parker says. “We are back in favour, and the data centre is coming back as the point of control.

“Innovation and modern data centre technology are now earmarked as areas for investment.”

In fact, IDC indicates that organisations without a data centre management approach could be stuck with unsuccessful cloud projects. Management-related challenges are among the top reasons for limited success in the cloud, Parker shares.

This is why there is the evolution from a cloud first mindset, helping to improve cost control cloud governance, performance and efficiency, aligning business need and cloud strategy, ensuring security, introducing a DevOps methodology, and driving cultural change.


Fujitsu drives integrated hybrid cloud solutions

Fujitsu offers hybrid cloud in partnership with software vendors, to ensure customers get the solution that fits their needs, says Parker.

With VMware, customers can build cloud-level automation on private clouds, with seamless management of both public cloud and on-premise workloads. About 1 800 Fujitsu customers employ VMware in their systems.

Parker comments that VMware offers a validated and certified software-defined infrastructure, best performance and energy efficiency, and outstanding lifecycle system management across a hybrid cloud implementation.

NetApp offers solutions that let around 1 800 Fujitsu customers manage their storage assets across private and public clouds. So organisations can use Fujitsu’s Eternus storage systems on-premise, or cloud storage managed under the same umbrella.

Fujitsu has a long-standing and successful relationship with both VMware and NetApp, so it’s no surprise that it is bringing them together in a curated solution, Parker adds.

“The Fujitsu, VMware and NetApp partnership allows us to offer our customers hybrid and multi-cloud managed services that execute on our vision of the right cloud for the right workload.

The joint solution sees VMware providing private and hybrid cloud architectures, NetApp bringing data management, and Fujitsu in the middle.

The Nutanix partnership brings cluster management that allows customers to run virtual machines and containers on Fujitsu hardware.

Fujitsu also partners with Microsoft to run Azure Stack HCI to create a hybrid cloud experience for compute, storage and edge.

Containers are an integral part of the hybrid cloud experience, and Fujitsu partners with both SUSE, with its Rancher solution, and Red Hat with OpenShift and Ansible, to ensure a seamless experience for customers.

When it comes to data protection, Veritas and Commvault backup are both available in the Fujitsu solution stack.


Customer use cases

The following videos demonstrate how customers are using solutions from Fujitsu and its strategic partners to solve their own particular pain points.

Klinikum Braunschweig uses a private cloud, enabled by Fujitsu and VMware, to simplify complexity, and put the right data into the right hands at the right time.


MyBrand is a Dutch systems integrator that provides cloud-based storage and backup to Intertoys using Fujitsu and NetApp.


Fujitsu and Microsoft have collaborated to help Belgian partner Hapbit to provide cloud services to Macdonalds in Belgium.


Keele University is passionate about being sustainable, and is working with Fujitsu and Nutanix to implement a hybrid cloud solution that reduces its carbon footprint.


EVAD Technology Group secures its IT infrastructure, and ensures data compliance for its customers, with Fujitsu and VMware.