What your cloud strategy may be overlooking

Eric Miller

person's hands on laptop keyboard


The public vs. private cloud debate is over. Every company uses multiple clouds — although without always realizing it. You’ll have workloads running in your own data center, along with productivity software like Office 365, Salesforce and Workday. Face it: you’re tethered to a multicloud experience.

What might surprise you is the broadly even distribution between public, private and data center/colo — and that most of today’s workloads run in traditional data centers. This contradicts a common perception that the future is all about public cloud. Instead, interest in alternative models continues to grow as benefits of public cloud head to private.

As we’ll see, with technology relentlessly evolving at speed, it’s no longer necessary to ask whether you should choose between public or private cloud. The question that matters most is this: What are you overlooking in your cloud strategy?


1. There’s no ‘public or private’ hard choice

Companies find themselves in multicloud environments for all kinds of reasons, including demands for broader functionality, rapid development, lower costs, security, resiliency and regulatory compliance. We hear organizations want the best of public and private, yet they feel forced to decide between the two.

That’s not the best approach. It’s not been since companies like VMware and Dell started to enable private cloud with the same types of capabilities as we see in public clouds such as automation, rapid provisioning and consumption-based pricing. And the hyperscalers are enabling their infrastructure on-premises for enterprises as private clouds.  The lines have long since blurred.

We’re now in a place where these things can be done in any cloud. So don’t feel compelled in your cloud strategy to cut your options in half. Keep everything on the table and make decisions workload by workload, business case by business case.


2. Cloud is an operating model, not a destination

Your strategy must recognize cloud is about how you consume, manage and interact with those resources, regardless of where they sit. Focus on how your company is organized, problems you’re trying to solve, what makes sense for your workloads and how everything best fits outcomes your organization is looking to achieve.

You want an operating model that allows you to consume cloud in the way you want, when you want, using the platform you want. This shouldn’t be a fixed end point, but a model where you only pay for what you need, when you need it. It must meet your workload requirements, align with what makes sense for your business and enable you to grow over time and not worry about future upgrades. All these things align with hyperscale clouds as well as VMware-based clouds.  


3. It’s all about the workloads

What’s missing from many cloud strategies isn’t a cloud model, but a ‘reimagined’ perspective that moves from a ‘versus’ discussion to one that encompasses a range of options. Decisions should be made workload by workload, based on which model is best suited — and relevant business outcomes.

This is driven in part by an industry shift from being infrastructure-focused to application-focused. Infrastructure is no longer the predominant factor. Rather than building applications to fit on particular infrastructure, it’s now common to build infrastructure to support an application’s needs.

You must therefore focus on problems your applications solve and look to tools that can help enable success. Avoid thinking that IT has favored infrastructure or favorite cloud providers. Applications have requirements — and those requirements influence infrastructure decisions. Consider the workloads, focus on outcomes and let that be your guide.


4. Hybrid can be a temporary or permanent home

There are workloads that don’t make sense to be transformed to cloud native, which tend to fall under the heading of untransformed workloads. Examples include back-office workloads that aren’t cloud friendly and applications that simply aren’t viable to transform, due to costs and other factors.

Some companies, though, will find themselves with applications that do make sense to transform, but won’t be ready to do so today — and yet have a need to move the applications out of their data centers. Those workloads can be moved to a familiar hosting environment, such as VMware, which many organizations are using already, while they develop their transformation strategy. Depending on how things play out, this could be a steppingstone or a destination; but with the right setup and on a platform such as VMware Cloud, your organization will be able to leverage the best of public and private.


5. Service providers can simplify complexity

Cloud was supposed to simplify the world, but multicloud ecosystems are increasingly complex. It can be hard to envision how the pieces fit together and to effectively manage them in a sustainable, resilient fashion. You might find it hard to maximize and interact with each of your clouds and to secure them with consistent policies. It can be tempting to move to platforms or providers based on loyalty, or reduce complexity in a brute-force manner, to lower costs and demands on internal teams.

These huge challenges are why it can pay dividends to work with a service provider like Rackspace Technology. We can help you formulate a strategy, migrate and modernize, and effectively manage your cloud environment. And, importantly, because we partner with the key hyperscalers as well as VMware, we can help simplify complexity, allowing you to seamlessly move and interoperate across a variety of different cloud models and put the right workloads in the right place at the right time.

In helping your teams focus on what they do best, this can be the most important aspect of your cloud strategy — and it’s one that’s easily overlooked.


Make the right moves with your cloud strategy

You might have started working on a strategy for your organization’s cloud future that was based around tough choices: multicloud or doubling down on a single hyperscaler. But with today’s rapid pace of change and ongoing demands for innovation, security, agility and resilience, it’s time to think about cloud in a different way.

To dig deeper into this topic, watch our on-demand webinar, “What your cloud strategy may be overlooking.”  And to find out how Rackspace Technology, Dell Technologies and VMware are reimagining private cloud, explore Rackspace SDDC Solutions.


Discover your cloud strategy blind spots.