The future is cloud-centric. Cloud-based storage and computing deliver a host of significant business benefits which organisations must take advantage of to stay ahead of the game.

Yet the journey to the cloud, and to realise the benefits promised by a cloud-centric ecosystem, has been much harder to achieve than organisations had anticipated, writes Bertrandt Delport, country host at BT South Africa.

The benefits of cloud adoption include the ability to scale quickly, pay-as-you-go billing with no up-front costs, robust disaster recovery, turnkey security, and improved accessibility, collaboration, and productivity.

But reaping these benefits has proven far from being a straightforward migration of apps and data to the hyperscalers. This cloud-first utopia – “the great re-platforming” – has stumbled onto some significant roadblocks.

The lack of development skills is one such significant obstacle. Developing modular, micro-service, cloud-based apps is very different from the monolithic datacentre-centric applications of old. Even today, years after this race to the cloud began, organisations are still struggling to find the skills they need to develop and maintain the applications they need.

Secondly, as workloads become more distributed with some components on public cloud, some located in the datacentre, and some still on premise, app performance and resilience issues are becoming more commonplace. Often, this is simply because the underlying network was not designed to support this new, more distributed workload environment.

Fragmented operations and security, since new services are often developed by different teams moving at varying paces, means that organisations are seeing scattershot operational and security models that make things much more complex and difficult to manage.

Adding to these challenges is the sheer weight of enterprise apps. Organisations have underestimated the complexity and volume of the legacy apps and accompanying data that have accumulated over the last twenty plus years, not to mention the cost involved in re-coding and migrating those apps to the cloud.

And finally, regulation and data sovereignty requirements are different in every country. So you can’t simply take an app from a datacentre in Germany, for example, and migrate it to a hyperscaler in the US without potential implications.

All these challenges mean that, despite all their best efforts, most organisations have managed to achieve a more complex, and in many cases, a more expensive network environment. And the complexity is not going away. These organisations are facing significant challenges and can use additional help.

The need for a fully programmable platform, delivering networking services to the cloud and between the clouds, whether public or private, while ensuring that the multi-cloud environment runs optimally, is clear.

With this in place, organisations will be well positioned to not only keep up with the trend towards multi-cloud adoption, but they’ll be well on their way to mastering it, as they continue their digital transformation journey into the future.

Mastering the multi-cloud, however, does not mean you have to do it all on your own. A particularly effective strategy is to work with a reputable partner who already has a strong reputation and extensive expertise in managing both public and private clouds. And in my follow up article in this series, I’ll describe what that should look like.