Interview: Public Cloud Services — In search of the white knight

Hybrid and multi-cloud strategies are near the top of the agenda for IT decision-makers. They understand that a modern, cloud-based IT world shouldn’t just be drawn in black and white. Diversity is needed to purchase services and innovations from a larger number of cloud providers. Private clouds quickly meet their limits here and don’t offer the benefits of a public cloud.

What is the optimal strategy for using public cloud services in enterprise IT? Find the answers in an interview with T-Systems in “Public cloud services: in search of the white knight”.

Mr. Buest, public, private, hybrid: when does which cloud offering become relevant for a company?
 There’s no catch-all answer here. We are now seeing an increasing number of companies that are intensely engaging with the public cloud, following an “all in” approach. This means, they do not manage a local IT infrastructure or internal data centers anymore, instead they are migrating everything to public cloud infrastructures or platforms, or purchasing what they need under a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model. However, these companies are still a minority.

…and that means?
 At the moment, most companies prefer to use private cloud environments. It’s a logical consequence of the legacy solutions that companies still maintain in their IT. However, we believe that in the future, a majority of German companies will move to hybrid or multi-cloud architectures, enabling them to cover all the facets they need for their digital transformation.

And how can companies coordinate these different solutions in combination?
 By using cloud management solutions that have interfaces to the most commonplace public cloud offers, as well as to private cloud solutions. They provide powerful tools for managing workloads in different environments and shifting virtual machines, data and applications around. Another option for seamless management is iPaaS: integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) provides cloud-based integration solutions. In the pre-cloud era, such solutions were also called “middleware”. They provide support for the interaction between different cloud services.

What do companies have to watch out for principally when using these cloud services?
 They should not underestimate the lack of understanding of the public cloud, nor the challenges associated with setting up and operating multi-cloud environments. The benefits gained from using multi-cloud infrastructures, platforms and services often come at a heavy price: namely, the costs that result from the complexity, integration, management and necessary operations. Multi-cloud management and a general lack of cloud experience are currently the key challenges many companies are facing.

What is the solution?
 Managed public cloud providers (MPCPs) are positioning themselves as “white knights” or “friends in need”. They develop and operate the systems, applications and virtual environments for their customers — in both the public cloud infrastructures and multi-cloud environments — in a managed cloud service model.

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 The interview with T-Systems has been published under “Public cloud services: What really matters“.

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