Does your company suffer from Spread Cloud Syndrome?

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Cloud adoption is increasing rapidly. However, most of the time in a disorganised manner, given the variety of options and combinations available. It is hybrid, multi-cloud, distributed, and edge computing, often with solutions from different service providers. The result is always the loss of focus on the fundamentals that should support the use and excessive adoption of technologies and concepts related to the cloud. The situation was called by Fernando Pereiro, senior director and analyst at Gartner for Technology and Services Provider (T&SP), “Scattered Cloud Syndrome”.

“A strategic or tactical disruption characterised by a loss of focus on business needs, leading to technological saturation and an excessive technical framework”, he writes.

In strategic terms, Pereiro identifies overvaluation, technology planning and investment and innovation fundamentals that are misaligned with business needs. And, in tactical terms, the saturation of an ecosystem and the absence of standardized processes that regulate the use of technology. Both directly related to the inability of user companies to obtain a technological framework aligned to the business requirements to be met.

According to Pereiro, the scattered cloud syndrome can be identified in organisations that:

  • They over-evaluate and over-exploit the market for cloud products and services.
  • They have saturated frameworks that seek to cover operational deficiencies.
  • They plan and execute the technology strategy independently and disconnected from the business strategy.
  • They disregard changing current and future buying behaviours.

To avoid the syndrome, cloud-focused infrastructure and operations professionals need to design a secure, scalable architecture that optimizes business outcomes over technical implementation. This, according to the consultancy, starts with creating a formal organisational structure to facilitate collaboration between IT and business to ultimately lead to better cloud adoption.

How to start mapping out a cloud strategy

It is best to devise a comprehensive cloud strategy before embracing cloud computing. And that strategy must first answer the “what” and “why” questions. Only later will the cloud implementation plan answer the “how” question.

Cloud strategy should be optimised for business outcomes, including speed, resilience and agility, and aligned with support strategies around data, security, governance and architecture. moving workloads to the cloud but neglecting to modernise them, for example, may increase operational costs and not improve business agility. 

Gartner also points out that the benefits of the cloud are maximised when organisations fully exploit the service providers’ native capabilities. So it’s important to establish a network architecture based on workload requirements, rather than the resources available in a given cloud provider’s offerings. And build resiliency into the application layer, not just the infrastructure layer.

It cannot be overemphasised that a robust cloud environment will be mandatory to capitalise on other technology trends that are expected to be in play in 2025, such as the rise of RPA for intelligent automation; data analytics from IoT applications; the number of new devices connected to network infrastructure; Edge Infrastructure; SaaS solution offerings, and so on.

How to design the cloud strategy?

Start by mapping cloud strategies to three key company priorities): 

  1. Innovation. How can cloud services help solve business problems and drive innovation?
  2. Governance and security. Can the cloud enable adaptive governance structures flexible enough to handle different deployment demands and risk profiles?
  3. Mobilisation and migration. How can the cloud support business initiatives such as digital transformation?
Cloud Deployment Steps - Gartner
Source: Gartner

Remember cloud strategy is not the same as datacenter strategy or implementation / adoption / migration plans. It is advisable to separate the cloud strategy from the deployment plan.

Cloud models, architecture and service providers will be the key components of your operating model, and their selection should support your previously designed cloud strategy.

A well-designed strategy can prevent infrastructure management from being an increasing drain on resources, for example, as 58% of the 1,300 IT leaders heard in a Dynatrace survey about multicloud adoption challenges found. Today, 99% of them have multicloud environments and use, on average, seven monitoring solutions to manage them. But half (56%) say traditional monitoring approaches should be replaced by a platform that can provide end-to-end observability across multiclouds.

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