Cloud-smart: Making multicloud work for the enterprise


To thrive in today’s fast-moving world, businesses are adopting a Multicloud approach with unprecedented pace and scale.

Multicloud is, essentially, where an organisation utilises an amalgamation of different types of cloud technology – including private, public, and on-premises. For instance, an organisation may have their ERP system in one cloud environment, their payroll solution on-premises, and their communication and collaboration software in another.

Optimising and customising this hybrid environment is what we call taking a ‘cloud-smart’ approach.

Multicloud is nothing new. In fact, it’s predicted that in 2022, 90% of enterprises will rely on a multicloud environment to meet their infrastructure needs, and 87% of organisations also say they already have a multicloud strategy in place.1 The sudden shift to remote working, necessitated by the pandemic, has accelerated uptake of multicloud – giving enterprises the agility and flexibility they need.

Now, with remote working set to stay and the uptake of multicloud set to continue, organisations need to focus on revitalising and redefining their existing cloud strategy – moving from a multicloud strategy to a more strategic and overarching cloud-smart approach.

Multicloud can, and does, deliver some vital benefits for enterprises. Combining on-premises, public and private cloud environments can deliver cost-savings, performance, scalability, and accelerated digital Recently, Brennan partnered with IDG to produce an insights report on three trends shaping the face of technology in the current climate: Multicloud, Hyper-automation, and new approaches to Cybersecurity and governance. In this eBook series, we will be sharing some key findings from this research, along with some of our own insights, tips, and recommendations. transformation. However, it also comes with some challenges that need to be mastered to unlock growth. These can include security issues; risk and compliance concerns; and an overall lack of internal multicloud expertise.

While having a Multicloud environment can be a major advantage, it needs to be approached in a cloud-smart way – and with the right expertise. Otherwise, it’s easy for a multicloud environment to become complex and unwieldy, and for it to become a roadblock for the business, rather than an enabler to growth.

In this eBook, the first in our insight series, we will explore the key benefits of a cloud-smart approach to IT, as well as the common challenges that enterprises are facing, and some key steps that can help.

“…cloud has moved beyond an experimental side project yet, only 41% feel well-prepared for the cloud migration journey.” 2

Telstra, State of Cloud Adoption Australia 2021 report

Why the shift to multicloud?

There are several ways in which a multicloud approach to IT can benefit organisations of all sizes. Let’s take a closer look at each.

Flexibility to adapt and scale

In today’s world, operational agility is becoming a critical factor and requirement for success. Multicloud delivers all-important flexibility and agility, enabling organisations to move workloads between their cloud solutions as needs and costs fluctuate. Rather than sourcing all cloud services from a single provider, or relying solely on an on-premises cloud, a multicloud environment allows enterprises to mix and match specific workloads to the environment that’s most ideal at that point in time.

For instance, an enterprise may have a particular application that receives a huge spike in use at certain known times of the year. The application also processes very sensitive data during these times and therefore needs to be in a highly secure environment. However, for the rest of the year, it lies largely dormant. The enterprise – with the right know-how and management skills – can implement automated vertical and horizontal workload scaling for this secure environment to meet peak demands.

Improved customer and staff satisfaction

With a cloud-smart approach, where workloads and applications are ideally matched to their environment, they can also function at their best. This can have a very positive flow-on effect in terms of customer and employee experience, allowing for both collaboration and productivity efficiencies between customers and employees.

For instance, research by recruitment firm Robert Half found that 59% of Australian managers reported that an employee had resigned during their probation period due to poor onboarding processes. 3 By taking a cloud-smart approach, and providing everyone with fast, optimised access to the tools they need, risks such as this can be alleviated.

Customisation and performance

No two organisations are the same, nor have the same requirements when it comes to the cloud. With an expertly designed and well-managed multicloud environment, enterprises can configure their set-up to suit a range of factors: the type of workloads and applications they need to support, their size, security, compliance requirements, and much more. This level of customisation can help reduce costs and help ensure the enterprise isn’t paying for services or capacity that simply aren’t needed.

Accelerated digital transformation

A multicloud environment can also help enterprises to fast-track their digital transformation by giving them a flexible and scalable foundation for growth. If a new workload or application needs to be supported, a new public cloud can simply be added to the overall mix. This means the cloud environment doesn’t impede growth or transformation in any way, and change can be gradual and phased rather than requiring a huge upheaval, which may cause innovation to stall. Similarly, a multicloud environment can help to provide organisations with various digital transformation benefits, including, but not limited to new products and services, new market opportunities, improved security posture and better business reporting/insights into performance.

Importantly, a multicloud environment can also prove very cost-effective – ensuring that the enterprise isn’t paying for capacity, security precautions, performance, or specific features that simply aren’t needed.

Enterprises can expect to save 40% to 50% of their annual IT spend on in-house or on-premise data centre costs by adopting multicloud solutions. 5

Multicloud: The Challenges

Just as multicloud can deliver some all-important benefits, it also brings some notable challenges. Let’s take a look at the 3 common issues organisations are facing.

Security and compliance

Managing a complex and multi-faceted cloud environment can bring security challenges, especially as threats become increasingly sophisticated and intense. Similarly, compliance requirements are ever changing and, in some industries, can be considerable.

In a 2020 survey, nearly 80% of companies experienced at least one cloud data breach in the previous 18 months, and nearly half (43%) reported 10 or more breaches. 6 According to the 300 chief security officers that took part in this survey, the top concerns were security misconfiguration (67%), lack of adequate visibility into access settings and activities (64%) and identity and access management permission errors (61%). 7 In another survey, only 21% of respondents said they considered their organisation ‘well prepared’ for cloud migration’s security and support challenges, and 79% of organisations said they had dealt with cloud security incidents. 8

While a multicloud environment can allow a business to specifically match workloads to security requirements, doing so can be very complex. The multifaceted nature of a cloud environment, and its diverse security requirements, can also mean that things inadvertently fall through the cracks.

Lack of expertise and readiness

Due largely to the haste with which many organisations have set up their cloud environments, many enterprises also have a lack of expertise and preparedness to deal with the ongoing management.

According to a recent survey, only 41% of respondents say their organisation is well prepared for cloud migration. 9

There is a widening gap between where organisations want to be in their cloud journey, and where they are – and a large part of this comes down to having the skills and expertise, internally, to manage innovation and growth.

At Brennan, when assessing an organisation’s cloud readiness, we take a broad range of factors into account. These include governance, operations, people, platform, and security.

A sound, cloud-smart approach requires organisations to have a strategic focus that’s aligned with their business’ needs, and a solid plan that is built around the organisation’s specific workloads, goals, security needs and performance requirements.

People’s reluctance to change

Many enterprises also face barriers when it comes to a willingness to change and evolve the way they manage their workloads and services. This reluctance can come both from IT teams, as well as employees and customers.

A recent study by Omdia and Telstra found that many IT leaders had a preference to retain applications on-premises or in outsourced data centres – believing that it would be more secure, help deliver data privacy, or enable them to meet increasing compliance requirements.

One of the most common barriers to taking a cloud-smart approach is a tendency to prefer the status-quo. Change can be difficult and require time and focus. Symptoms that change is overdue can include:

  • Vendor sprawl – Too many cloud providers to manage and control.
  • Lack of technical expertise – There is no-one within the organisation with the knowledge or level of expertise to drive change.
  • Capacity – An on-premises environment is falling short in terms of its speed and performance.
  • No strategic planning – The cloud environment is simply left to function as is, with no foresight as to how it needs to evolve into the future.

Only 41% of survey respondents said their organisation was well prepared for cloud migration. 11

How to make a cloud-smart approach work for your organisation

As we highlighted in our recent report, to be cloud-smart, organisations need to have the information necessary to decide on the needs of applications and their users across the organisation, and have the flexibility to provision appropriate cloud services. 12

Doing so involves the following key elements:

A strong foundation with robust governance

To create a platform for growth and innovation, modern enterprises need to have a very solid, well-managed and well- architected multicloud foundation. This means determining the right combination of private, public and onpremises assets that will best service employees, teams, and the organisation as a whole.

Also, the environment needs to have robust governance in place, to reduce complexity, ensure ease of management, and deliver maximum security.

Freedom of choice

To work effectively, multicloud needs to be flexible, and organisations need to have the ability to ‘mix and match’ different cloud environments based on their needs – as well as to scale up or down as their needs change. As highlighted in our report, this means giving the organisation and their users the ability to take advantage of specific services within each cloud, including managed private environments, so they avoid compromising on functionality. 13

Application modernisation

According to the IDG report, enterprises should also have capability in application modernisation to deliver access to the full benefit of cloud-native technologies. This will significantly increase the returns from their cloud migration. 14

Partnering with a secure cloud managed services partner

One of the most effective ways to get the most from your multicloud environment is to use the services of an outsourced partner – like Brennan. This is particularly the case when it comes to security. Currently, only 3% of organisations are wholly managing their cloud security in-house, and it’s predicted that in the next 12-24 months, close to 50% of organisations will seek external help with their multicloud security. 15

Right now, with such a shortage of talented IT professionals in the market, organisations are facing it difficult to find and retain public cloud specialists with real world experience. Gartner even recently stated that this lack of skilled IT workers is foiling the adoption of cloud and hindering cloud progress. 16

By relying on an experienced managed services partner, organisations can gain immediate access to a solid bench of experienced technical resources – without needing to scour the market.

Change management and training

For a cloud-smart approach to be effective, it’s also essential that organisations have a solid change management strategy in place and provide the training and learning opportunities that staff and customers need.

IT teams also need ongoing support with regards to how they can best mitigate security, data, and compliance concerns.

It’s predicted that close to 50% of organisations will seek external help withtheir hybrid cloud security. 17

Does Your Business Need A Cloud-Smart Approach?

Here are the key questions we recommend all organisations should ask to determine if it’s time to implement a Cloud-smart solution.

  • Does your IT team feel overwhelmed by the task of managing your multicloud?
  • Have you done a formal assessment of organisational readiness?
  • Do you have full visibility and insight over your multicloud environment?
  • Are you entirely confident in your organisation’s security?
  • Do you have defined and established policies and standards for multicloud management?
  • Do you meet compliance and regulatory requirements?
  • What levels of governance have you established?
  • Are you able to accurately report on your costs and forecasts?
  • Have you conducted an assessment of your digital estate to understand cloud compatibility and economics?
  • Are your cloud environments siloed, or does your management toolset provide true multicloud management?
  • How does your multicloud environment support application availability and protection requirements?

How Brennan’s cloud-smart solutions give you peace of mind

Our Own Cloud Story

We don’t just sell cloud solutions; we’ve built and run our own private cloud for over a decade – so we know firsthand how the adoption of a secure cloud environment can transform the way organisations do business.

Practicing what we preach, we’ve adopted a Cloud-smart approach, utilising our own SaaS and PaaS systems for our internal functions, including Onboarding, Finance, HR, our ERP Systems, Service management and Data Monitoring.

Innovation and governance play an important role, which is why we adhere to our Cloud Adoption and Management framework which focuses on integration, automation, security, and cost optimisation. We also partner with industry leading partners such as Microsoft, AWS, VMware, Red Hat, Commvault, Veeam, Zerto, Fortinet, Alienvault, Crowdstrike etc giving our customers best-of-breed cloud solutions, whatever their requirement.

Continual evolution and transformation

We believe transformation and continuous improvement should be ongoing, and have a ‘fail fast’ methodology, which means we’re not afraid of innovation and rapid resolution – always learning from our mistakes.

We appreciate that organisational change is synonymous with technological change – which is why we have a culture that encourages and promotes our cloud engineers to constantly be developing their knowledge base and advancing their skills with additional certifications.

People first, secure always

While technology can be a powerful catalyst for business growth, we believe that people – not technology – should be central to everything we do. This is reflected in our world-class Net Promotor Score (NPS) rating of +80, received from our customers.

Using our Cloud-smart approach, we ensure people across your entire organisation have access to the right tools to do their job, no matter where they are. And, that we deliver operational excellence, cost-efficiencies and increased staff and customer satisfaction for our customers.

Success Story: Tieman Tankers

When TiemanTankers, a high-quality transport tanker manufacturer, was looking to update their legacy network system a few years ago they turned to Brennan to assist them with the upgrade and to help move their entire infrastructure to the cloud.

Business Challenge:
Taking an old network system and bringing it up to the 21st century as
it’s the core of the business.

Design and implement a completely new, cloud-based digital infrastructure including networks and disaster recovery.

Tieman experienced less downtime, increased production efficiency, and up to 50% cost reduction. With a mobile workforce, Tieman saw a 25- 30% improvement in their business operations.

Adopting a Cloud-smart and multicloud approach, we continue to work closely with Tieman to ensure that their Infrastructure as a Service remains efficient, migrations and updates are seamless and that we are constantly delivering a positive end user experience.

1 Learn Hub, 31 Hybrid Cloud Storage Statistics that can affect your business, Hyperlink
2 Telstra, Cloud at scale report, ,Hyperlink
3 IDG Report, Why IT outsourcing demands a human-centric approach
4 Small Biz Daily, How shifting to hybrid cloud can lower your business’ operational costs, Hyperlink
5 Small Biz Daily, How shifting to hybrid cloud can lower your business’ operational costs, Hyperlink
6 Security Magazine, Hyperlink
7 Security Magazine, Hyperlink
8 Security Magazine, Hyperlink
9 Purple Telstra, Cloud at scale, Hyperlink
10 Purple Telstra, Cloud at scale, Hyperlink
11 Security Magazine, Hyperlink
12 IDG Report, Why IT outsourcing demands a human centric approach
13 IDG Report, Why IT outsourcing demands a human centric approach
14 IDG Report, Why IT outsourcing demands a human centric approach
15 Purple Telstra, Cloud at scale, Hyperlink
16 Infoworld, The lack of cloud skills is hindering cloud progress, Hyperlink
17 Purple Telstra, Cloud at scale, Hyperlink

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