Guess what? Ask clouds to behave like old-school vendors, they will – and you lose

Same salespeople and same lock-in, which may actually help this time

Analyst firm Gartner has observed its clients asking hyperscale cloud vendors to behave more like legacy tech vendors – and feels that might not be the worst thing to happen to organizations seeking to tap into the value of multi-cloud.

Speaking at the advisory org's Symposium in Australia yesterday, VP analyst Michael Warrilow recommended not adopting multi-cloud to improve availability or resilience, because it doesn't work.

"You get a patchwork of this bit connected to that bit," he said, but you'll struggle to improve resilience.

Making multi-cloud work therefore requires buyers "to accept the lock-in."

"That's what hyperscalers have done to you," he observed, adding "and funnily enough, you are doing to them as well."

"There is this dangerous connection we are starting to see, where you are training the hyperscalers to behave like traditional vendors and they are responding by hiring traditional sales people – and you get in this vicious circle."

Warrilow nonetheless advocated planning for multi-cloud adoption – and adoption of tools to manage it – so you can diversify and avoid lock-in when it makes sense to do so. "For some of you concentration risk is a big issue," he said. Adopting multiple clouds to access best-of-breed services in one or the other is also sensible.

But he cautioned against cloud-first strategies. He advised that software-as-a-service is the most sensible first step into the cloud, followed by platform-as-a-service, and finally infrastructure-as-a-service.

Warrilow also advocated going cloud-native – which in Gartner-speak denotes using services that only clouds can offer, rather than a software development model. The analyst mentioned elasticity as a service users should employ.

"We are still buying cloud like we used to buy hardware and software," he observed. "We're locking into multi-year contracts. And as a result, you don't focus on elasticity."

That's a missed opportunity, he said, because organizations have realized that "lift and shift" cloud application migrations aren't particularly effective. Optimizing applications to run in clouds by using cloud-native services delivers better outcomes. ®

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