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Don't let these two multicloud mistakes turn your IT into a running joke

March 10, 2023
Richard Seroter

Director of Outbound Strategy and Engagement

There is a running gag in one of my favorite movies, the underrated comedy flick “The Other Guys.” In numerous scenes through the film, the worn-out police captain Gene Mauch (played by Michael Keaton) keeps “accidentally” quoting the pop supergroup TLC when talking to his detectives, as he nonchalantly drops lines like “don’t go chasing waterfalls” and “creep, creep.” It’s remarkably funny — so much so, it can overshadow the main story. 

In the tech industry, innovation is the main story, the one that draws an audience and gets all the attention and accolades. Unfortunately, that's not how most enterprises spend their time. A lot can get in the way of the efforts to innovate. 

There are two factors in particular, cost and complexity, that can be so frequent and so distracting for an organization that they may start to feel like a running joke. Both can imperil your transformation, but there are also ways to harness them and help propel your transformation instead.

Overcoming complexity

Complexity can come in all shapes and sizes. That’s why multicloud should be an exercise in simplification, in subtraction as much as addition.

In a recent Technical Advisory Council meeting at Google Cloud, we heard customers call out problems that make their architecture and cloud migration difficult. Examples ranged from “mainframes” to “legacy infrastructure automation tools.” It’s not getting easier, either. 

The multicloud space is growing more complex by the minute, with on-premises vendors pushing the somewhat ludicrous idea of a “super-cloud” architecture and a deluge of ever-changing products and services.

Don't let antiquated ways of thinking about cloud complexity and cost unravel your business strategy.

This is where the right mix of cloud services can help overcome running the side-gags that distract us from the main story.

Containers are already a useful tool for managing new and legacy applications without being restricted on where they run. To make them even better, look for managed environments that reduce complexity by automating all the core lifecycle activities of Kubernetes.

Let developers take advantage of integrated services that make it simple to extend their applications — think of centralized accessibility for databases and load balancing. I tell customers that they should only buy application management platforms (like Anthos) if they can sunset three or four other products as a result. 

Whatever can simplify setup, application development, deployment, and day-two operations should be a priority. At Google Cloud, for example, we’re determined to reduce customer complexity because the alternative is watching you struggle at your core business, slow down your cloud migration, or give up entirely and move on.

Reconsidering cost

Cost is the second distracting factor lurking beneath the surface — though it can quickly come to dominate your business story if you’re not careful. 

On one hand, IT spending appears to be on the rise, even as global uncertainty also rises. Whether it’s small companies wondering if the cloud makes financial sense for them, or big companies questioning the ROI of their cloud investments, we’ve observed greater attention to smart spending. 

The relationship between “cloud” and “cost” is fascinating. Without a doubt, you can save money by adopting a public cloud thanks to dynamic infrastructure and pay-as-you-go managed services. But if someone adopts cloud computing with the primary goal of saving money, they’re leaving a lot of value on the table. And there’s even situations where, if you’re not careful about how you provision it, cloud can be more expensive than on-premises operations — especially up front.

Multicloud should be an exercise in subtraction as much as addition.

Cloud costs matter, and leading organizations have discovered ways to harness the cloud to drive financial resilience. At Google Cloud, our goal has been to deliver a cost-optimized cloud that can help customers get the most value for the money they spend. You’ll be spending smarter, even if you’re spending more.

Organizations should be focused on innovation and their big business bets, but these secondary concerns are real and can disrupt their plans. You don’t just have a multicloud strategy, but the right multicloud strategy — along with the tools and partners to execute. 

Now’s the time for no weak game, no deadbeats, no scrubs. Savings, simplicity, and innovation are what’s needed, in equal measure, or else you’ll just go chasing waterfalls.

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