6 trends shaping IT cloud strategies today

From multi-cloud strategies to cost containment and container orchestration, CIOs are getting more pragmatic and prudent when taking advantage of the cloud’s economies of scale.

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Cloud computing has become the de facto platform on which enterprises are fueling digital transformations and modernizing IT portfolios. Organizations are increasingly finding business agility or cost savings by renting software through vendors such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, Google and IBM. 

The global public cloud market will hit $178 billion this year, up from $146 billion in 2017, according to Forrester Research. Public cloud adoption in enterprises will cross 50 percent for the first time. With so many large organizations offloading compute resources to focus on strategic digital initiatives, the tipping point was inevitable.

Here CIO.com looks at the key trends shaping cloud adoption today.

Rise of multi-cloud

The days of enterprises dabbling in AWS are dwindling. CIOs are hedging their bets but dropping applications into two and sometimes three public clouds. For example, Honeywell is using IBM and Microsoft Azure, and General Electric and Accenture both consume AWS and Azure services.

Lauren Nelson, a Forrester Research analyst who tracks the cloud market, says CFOs are encouraging this approach to avoid putting too many apps in a single cloud basket to keep their options open. "They want to remain vendor-neutral to mitigate vendor lock-in," Nelson says.

But this remains easier said than done. While compute and storage is often similar between providers — conversion tools help companies move data from one cloud to another — the issue gets murkier where networking, application and developer services are concerned, Nelson says. Enterprises would do well to use templates that ensure portability of applications and data between vendors.

Forrester recommends CIOs conduct a thorough lock-in risk/reward analysis, and build a risk mitigation plan.

CIOs getting serious about disaster recovery

Enterprises traditionally operate multiple data centers that provide redundancy for most critical applications running on premises. That approach has yet to translate to public cloud computing services, increasing the risk of an outage having disastrous consequences to your business.

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