Unlocking the business value of multi-cloud technologies


Photo of Rob Robinson

Rob Robinson

Head of Telstra Purple LinkedIn

Multi-cloud is now essential for enterprises to keep up with an expanding digital footprint. However, some organisations that have made this move have yet to realise the benefits of doing so and have introduced a greater complexity to their newfound cloud estate.

Multi-cloud estates are complex and demand a highly strategic approach. They typically comprise software as a service (SaaS), hyper-scaler cloud services, on-premises data centers, and co-location services.

Despite the benefits of multi-cloud, many enterprises are still at the beginning of their cloud journey, according to Carla Arend, lead analyst cloud Europe for IDC, with only 2% of organisations across Europe 100% in the public cloud for all their workloads, and just 11% have a cloud-first strategy. Instead, 38% are taking a balanced approach, modernising on-premises to a cloud operating model to manage their cloud migration and harvest maximum business benefit.

“Organisations have found their clouds are not always delivering benefits. Some have expected cost savings on pure lift and shift that have not materialised as expected; some have encountered other challenges. Having said this, every organisation is on its way to cloud, and there is no way around it,” explains Arend. “If they envision digital business models, they will be running in a cloud-based ecosystem.”

Some enterprises have pursued their multi-cloud adoption with little consistency, while others have found it difficult to outline clear business cases for migration. Without a framework and well-thought-out management capabilities, operations become unnecessarily complex, reducing the value that multi-cloud can bring to the business. Wasted cloud spend, for example, is still a major issue for many enterprises. Respondents in a recent survey estimate their organizations waste 32% of cloud spend on average.

Being smart about multi-cloud can make the difference between a lead over competitors through transformation and the digital edge or being stuck with a burdensome infrastructure that fails to deliver.

Assessing where an enterprise sits on the multi-cloud value curve

It is imperative that business and IT are aligned on a definition of business value. This is key in determining which technology, tools, and applications best suit the business tasks at hand in terms of performance, security, and controlling costs.

This is where a multi-cloud strategy that addresses a cloud estate’s management and operational challenges is vital to delivering business outcomes. This will help determine which cloud services best meet the business goals while being as secure as possible and achieving cost and performance optimisation.

Whether you are starting on your multi-cloud journey or are well on your way via organic adoption, assessing the value of multi-cloud against several criteria, including complexity, performance, availability, and risk profile, is vital to deliver functional business advantages such as enhanced agility, customer reach, and speed to market.

It’s important to review data sovereignty, compliance, and any regulatory issues that need to be considered, as well as look at the current state of an enterprise’s workloads in terms of costs, scalability, risk, and security considerations if moving specific workloads to another location. This may be to cloud or moving back to on-premises. It is about making the most appropriate move to realise the best value.

Developing a strategy and high-level roadmap that includes developing the right skills, leveraging the right cloud technology for business use cases, and optimising how the entire enterprise works to keep it secure and productive will enable you to harness the real power of a multi-cloud estate.

And here is the proof

A pharmaceutical organisation working in highly secure environments was evaluating the benefits of moving from on-premises to a Microsoft 365 environment but was struggling to see the true extent of its benefits.

The company was separating from its parent organisation. It required a totally new user environment to include laptops, email, instant messaging, video conference filesharing, laptop, and mobile device management and security.

Due to the nature of the business, 95% of the staff work on-site, although it is also used as a remote location for some employees. Initially, the company planned to deploy a traditional, local on-premises solution to provide its required services. This would have meant deploying 20 extensive servers and multiple terabytes of storage. As it would all be housed on a single site, it would also have to outsource disaster recovery or use a cloud solution. This would also demand increased staffing levels and infrastructure changes compared to a Microsoft 365 approach.

A Microsoft 365 solution provided multiple location off-premises secure storage for all the company’s data accessible by users on-premises 24/7 using internet links required for other services. Users could also work remotely if needed. This has proved especially useful for executive teams.

The Microsoft 365 solution also has the bonus of low ongoing resources for support as Microsoft maintains all the services and patch levels. There have been no outrages since the solution was deployed.

By opting for the Microsoft 365 route, our customer has reduced their operational and licensing costs. They have maintained much lower staffing levels which would not have been possible with the on-premises solution.

Our customer’s security footprint, although in the cloud, is now much stronger than on-premises. This is made possible via the platform as a service model that provides a high level of security as part of a shared responsibility model.

Taking business agility to a new level

Cloud isn’t just an engine for revenue growth and efficiency. Its speed, scale, innovation, and productivity benefits are paramount in pursuing broader business opportunities now and into the future, according to McKinsey. However, tunnel vision can stop companies from achieving expected outcomes when it comes to cloud economics and unearthing value.

CIOs and CTOs need to have a coherent and sustainable roadmap in place that captures continuous value from multi-cloud investment. Without these, enterprises will be continually disappointed by their cloud results.


Telstra Purple at a glance

  • A global telecommunications and technology company.
  • Access to 1,500 certified experts across cloud, security, networks, and modern workspace
  • 30 years delivering transformation in large, complex, mission-critical environments
  • 4D methodology that delivers major change while minimizing business impact, reducing cost, and mitigating risk.
  • Microsoft Gold Partner and CSP, Azure Expert MSP
  • AWS Advanced Consulting Partner
  • Cisco Gold Partner
  • Equinix Platinum Partner
  • Market leader in cloud connectivity. Noted as a leader in IDC’s 2021 Marketscape for Network Consulting Worldwide.

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