This is a series on “Single Cloud” and won’t be the last article.

Why I went down the “Single Cloud” vendor model rather than “Multi Cloud” and why you should consider this as a fundamental IT strategy. This is not intended as a “This Cloud Provider is better than the other”, it’s more around choosing the right platform that fits your business.

When figuring out how your business should run in the cloud you need to consider how you can build a platform to allow your business to grow and be successful.

Let’s first take a look at the challenges your typical enterprise faces today.

Several Challenges

Integration & Interoperability
Typically you’ll find in IT circles several people talking about the need to have interoperability and open architecture within enterprises and on the web. This makes sense for applications and data sharing between based on business drivers such as key metrics reporting, understanding customers and billing. The reality is that an open, standards based architecture is not always part of a proprietary software product’s overall strategy and so this makes integration difficult.

Some of the areas you’ve possibly encountered when doing integration projects are network connectivity and how to handle the ever growing data & messaging formats from vendors.

Procurement of IT assets
Quite often when a business wants to do a significant change in direction or start a new project the people involved in a project hit a brick wall. This brick wall can come in the form of data centre capacity limits, software licensing and slow procurement processes. All this leads to frustration and companies operating at a status quo. Meanwhile your much smaller, more nimble competitors grow faster and eat into your business. Does this sound familiar?

“Shadow IT”
You know the marketing team is always looking to do something “smart” like a crazy marketing campaign. Of course for them to “build their funnel” and measure everything related to that campaign they can’t use that useless outdated piece of software that runs in your business called S**. No it doesn’t give them key metrics like number of clicks, email opens or views. So they likewise march down to their nearest SaaS provider and purchase (with their credit card) their tool of choice. In fact it’s taken them 5 minutes to make this decision rather than having to deal with yet “another BA” or “IT Manager” telling them they can’t do it with the internal software system called S**.

Manual processes
Manual processes are an organisational efficiency killer. All organisations have them, even my startup has them. There’s stuff I do everyday and think “I could easily automate it”, but for some reason or another there are certain areas of your business you don’t automate or you can’t automate. I don’t believe in “Automate all the things”, but the other end of the spectrum: manual process is totally inefficient and unacceptable in today’s fast paced business.

Other issues
Networking, Hardware, Regional Offices, Work from home / Remote Workforce, Unexpected Website Traffic and a host of other problems your business needs to deal with. There are several issues your business faces when it comes to IT as you can see and this is by no means a comprehensive list.

You’re probably getting the point now, but your enterprise isn’t simple and IT hasn’t been easy. Why make it harder?

Why do  the vast majority somehow think then that a Multicloud strategy is the best option for our technology needs?

Why a Single Cloud Vendor?

History teaches us
If you take a look at history we see that VMware completely dominated the virtualisation market for quite a few years before other competitors entered the market, in fact there is still no strong competitor today with the exception of Openstack which is growing in popularity. Did your business go and procure VMWare and Openstack and Hyper-V? Probably not, it stuck with VMWare as a solid base for providing Virtualisation.

The world has moved on from pure virtualisation and you already are aware  of that but taking a look at the history helps. Also look at the challenges above under ‘Several challenges’ that I just talked about and I’ll outline why a Single Cloud provider makes sense. 

Like for like is not a real thing, it’s a misinformed sales tactic
The first problem is how your business views IT services. I like this topic because often when people move to the cloud they think “like for like”, taking a traditional application hosted on a traditional piece of infrastructure (a server) and plonking that straight into AWS.

Several people then have the view that if they can run it in AWS they can also run it in Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud or anywhere else. The traditional vendors of IT like selling this idea of “like for like” because then they can throw in the “If it doesn’t work out you can always bring it back on premise”. That’s an innovation anti-pattern which then causes your business to be hurled back into the dark ages.

If you select AWS for example to host a server you then have a whole lot of tools at your disposal which allow you to refactor your existing application to use less infrastructure and scale as required. You can also simplify monitoring through tools that AWS provide out of the box (Cloud Watch). Some of these tools may come in the form of compliance, security, mobile or other Enterprise ready tools.

In my next article I’ll be talking about Connectivity and how important it is to choose a Single Cloud provider to simplify network connectivity. I’ll also talk about the 90-10 rule, which is a rough estimate of the types of workloads you’ll run in your vendor of choice vs. other cloud providers.