F5 Networks has unveiled EMEA’s first ever Future of Multi-Cloud (FOMC) report, highlighting game-changing trends and charting adaptive best practice over the next five years.
The F5-commissioned report was conducted by the Foresight Factory and features exclusive input from influential global cloud experts specialising in entrepreneurialism, cloud architecture, business strategy, industry analysis and relevant technological consultancy.
“The Future of Multi-Cloud report is a unique vision for how organisations can successfully navigate an increasingly intricate, cloud-centric world. The stakes are higher than ever and businesses that ignore the power of the multi-cloud today will significantly struggle in the next five years,” said Vincent Lavergne, RVP, Systems Engineering, F5 Networks.
The FOMC report comes at a time of significant cloud receptivity.
According to the figures cited in the FOMC report, 81% of global enterprises claim to have a multi-cloud strategy in place. Meanwhile, the Cisco Global Cloud Index estimates that 94% of workloads and compute instances will be processed by cloud data centres by 2021.
“The multi-cloud is a game-changer for both business and consumers. It will pave the way for unprecedented innovation, bringing cloud architects, DevOps, NetOps and SecOps together to pioneer transformational services traditional infrastructures simply cannot deliver. The outlook for the coming years is bright and full of potential,” said Josh McBain, Director of Consultancy, Foresight Factory.
A new era of business innovation
The FOMC consensus is that those delaying multi-cloud adoption will become increasingly irrelevant.
New levels of service specialisation will increasingly allow enterprises to find the best tools for their specific needs, enabling seamless scaling and rapid service delivery innovations. Technologies set to drive this transition include serverless architectures, as well as Artificial Intelligence-powered orchestration layers and configuration tools to aid data-driven decision making. Fear of vendor lock-in is expected to continue as a key justification for multi-cloud investments.
“The multi-cloud ramp-up is one of the ultimate wake-up calls in internal IT to get their act together,” said Eric Marks, VP of Cloud Consulting at CloudSpectator and a FOMC contributor.
“One of the biggest transformative changes is the realisation of what a high-performing IT organisation is and how it compares to what they have. Most are finding their IT organisations are sadly underperforming.”
Plugging the skills gap
The FOMC report cautions that the multifaceted logistics of monitoring multiple cloud services, containers, APIs and other processes can be daunting and inhibit technology uptake. A significant skill gap also exists to handle this added complexity both now and into the future. Across the world, available workforces are not keeping with the pace of innovation, with potentially damaging results to business productivity and Digital Transformation capacity. Knowledge silos or lack of collaboration within businesses may further exacerbate multi-cloud apprehension.
Looking ahead, the FOMC report urges the business community to do more to “tap into the kaleidoscopic potential of youth and promote industry diversity.” It also calls on the IT industry to better promote the use of smart, context-driven and automated solutions that can spark attractive new career opportunities and free existing workforces to focus on more strategic and rewarding work.
Safeguarding the future and building trust
Attack surfaces are expanding at exponential rates. The FOMC emphasises how cybercriminals are no longer tinkering hobbyists, but instigators of a new ‘hacking economy’ that can outpace business innovation. To remain competitive, organisations need to confront the security challenge head on without compromising quality of service. Implementing a robust, future-proofed ecosystem of integrated security and cloud solutions will help to build end-to-end IT services that give key stakeholders greater context, control and visibility into the threat landscape.
Coping with compliance
The FOMC posits that the intricacies of regulating a borderless digital world is one of the biggest challenges facing governments today. Swift and substantive collaborative action between business and government is needed. Ultimately, the FOMC report believes a global standard for data protection is required within five years.
“Eventually, today’s tech-conscious consumers and customers will only want to be associated with the most trustworthy data handlers. There is now a big opportunity to differentiate with best practice and service delivery, particularly in the context multi-cloud’s potential,” added McBain.