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Facing the Growing Complexities of the Public Cloud

Gartner offers recommendations that can help address the growing complexity of the public cloud.

Imagine you go to a restaurant you've never tried before. You open the menu, and it is complex with several options. To make matters worse, the restaurant allows you to combine the ingredients in the way and quantity you want, and you pay for only what you consume.

While this is an unrealistic analogy for a restaurant, public cloud services may not be too far from this reality. Each year, public cloud providers invest billions of dollars in R&D, enabling the delivery of a multitude of new cloud services and functionalities.

As an example, only to illustrate the number of investments public cloud providers are doing in innovation, see in the graphs below, the number of new announcements, services, and features, that a company like AWS has been making annually.

AWSnew AWS announcements

AWSAWS new services

However, if on the one hand, all this innovation brings enormous value to organizations, on the other hand, the growing complexity of these services also creates enormous challenges for professionals who work with these technologies.

Just to illustrate some of these challenges, let's return to our restaurant analogy.

Now, suppose you didn't leave the restaurant because you found it too complicated and couldn't understand the options or their costs. You would probably ask the waiter for help. And today was your lucky day. You have found an excellent waiter. He knew all the options available, including the new options that were included daily. Furthermore, he was not biased and had the sensitivity to listen to your needs and preferences. In the end, he offered some suggestions and gave a cost estimate for each one.

You were satisfied, but you realized that although the waiter was excellent, you would like to make some adjustments and maybe also try some options that you saw people eating at the table next to you.

Despite all the limitations that this restaurant analogy has with public cloud services, it is easy to see that accelerated growth in innovation invariably creates new challenges for organizations, be they in the development of skills and internal knowledge, as well as in hiring or in managing external professional services.

Based on numerous interactions and lessons learned, here are some recommendations that can help address the growing complexity of the public cloud:

  • Develop a broad view of the industry and of each cloud provider but select and prioritize only the innovations that really matter to your organization's current and future realities.
  • Prioritize investments related to obtaining the necessary knowledge and skills, whether through the development of your internal teams or hiring externally qualified professional services.
  • Improve your knowledge and your relationship with the business areas, to improve your ability to bring through the innovation of cloud services, greater business value to them.

While these recommendations should be part of your organization's processes, dealing with growing cloud complexities may require several additional ongoing efforts… After all, the current and future of public cloud computing should continue far beyond "chicken or pasta" for many more years to come.

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