This is a guest post from IDC Vice President Linus Lai. 

The pandemic has shown us how fragile our infrastructure services and resilience can be, when faced with a loss of access to datacenter resources, either by way of physical or remote access through reliance on outsourced providers. That’s why at the height of the pandemic last year, we witnessed a significant rethink about the pace at which we move applications and data to the cloud. A major health insurer in Australia whom I spoke to recently said they have moved more data to the cloud than ever before in order to have the capabilities for a remote and diverse team to be able to work on solving digital business use cases.

We’ve also arrived at a juncture where cloud-centric technologies are the foundation for all infrastructure, be it from a cloud provider, or in an in-house infrastructure refresh or modernization program. Thanks to open source technologies, there is much more confidence in the ability to design portable and deployable workloads into modern infrastructure at higher densities, configurations and at the speed of software code. As a result, a majority of enterprises say they have multi-cloud with high interoperability today (source: IDC’s Cloud Pulse 1Q21 Survey, May 2021, n=2,200). The need for diverse environments is a deliberate strategy to manage risks around sovereignty, availability and supplier concentration; this is also encouraged by industry bodies and governments all around the region. 

Still, there are organizations that say they don’t have a clear hybrid cloud strategy because creating interoperability in a multi-cloud environment is deemed as too expensive or too technically complex. Integrating capabilities across multiple clouds isn’t just a question of integrated service management but of cloud policy, control and operations. Before attempting an integrated approach, organizations must first understand what it takes to break through a siloed approach to multiple environments. The aim is to achieve outcomes such as improved security and compliance measures and ease of operations.

HCI-minispot-Blog-thumbnail.png The driving principles behind a connected cloud architecture are a common automated management control plane across all cloud resources from bare metal servers to containers, and a consistent open API-driven approach to unify operations. This is key to achieving policy-driven automation, advanced observability, and real-time analytics to help maintain service levels, security and compliance. 

IDC believes that digital dexterity depends on cloud-centric technologies and autonomous operations. When coupled with the flexibility of deploying infrastructure resources anywhere, this represents the future of enterprise digital infrastructure. The ability of enterprises to seamlessly manage cloud resources and capabilities across diverse environments in a reliable, standardized and automated manner will be key to driving digital innovation and business agility. 

To learn more, download The Future of Connected Cloud Architecture Infobrief.

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Linus Lai is a member of the Asia/Pacific Software and Services Research Group. Based in Sydney, Lai has more than 25 years of industry experience and leads IDC's research programs in DevOps, cloud software and services sourcing. Lai is a founding member of IDC Asia/Pacific's Emerging Technology Advisory Council and is on the judging panel of IDG Australia's CIO50.

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