It’s now a cliché to say that technology advances rapidly and the changes it causes can disrupt industries. While not all changes are that dramatic, businesses still have to be vigilant so as not to be taken by surprise. Cloud consolidation is a good example.
Take cloud consolidation, for instance. The cloud is becoming more and more entrenched in many organizations as the technology of choice for distributing software, storing data, and serving as a platform for app development. Because of this, major players such as Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are getting bigger as they either swallow up smaller cloud providers or knock the latter out of the game.
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Why is cloud consolidation happening?
It all began when AWS, initially an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, began expanding its offerings to include Elastic Beanstalk in 2011 and Kinesis in 2013. Each is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) — the first is for app development, whereas the second is for processing streaming data in real time.
The logic for this business move is simple: to be a one-stop-shop for clients so they won’t have to go anywhere else. Soon afterward, other large IaaS providers followed in AWS’s footsteps, with others like Google and Microsoft simply adding PaaS to their preexisting Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
All of these are done for the sake of getting customers and then fencing them in — and the trend toward cloud consolidation proves that their business strategy is working.
What does cloud consolidation mean for your business?
Firstly, it means that going with one of the big three vendors is your best bet. As of this writing, the prevailing wisdom when it comes to choosing a cloud vendor is to pick from only the three biggest ones, namely AWS, Azure, and GCP. Choosing any other would be risky because you don’t know when it will fold or be gobbled up.
If you do choose to go against conventional wisdom or are already subscribed to the services of a smaller provider, you’ll need to take extra precautions.
If your vendor folds First of all, that vendor ought to have a policy of transferring data back to you in case of closure. Choosing a vendor that offers no such policy may mean that when the provider disappears, your data disappears with them. You might also have business processes that are dependent on that vendor, so you need to have contingency plans that are similar to disaster recovery and business continuity, just in case your vendor folds.
If your vendor is acquired by another vendor Establishing a relationship with the new vendor is key for a smooth transition. As your business processes are dependent on cloud services, actively voice out what you want and need. Furthermore, do look into how the new provider will be different from your previous one from a contractual standpoint. The acquiring vendor will maintain the terms of your agreement with the acquired vendor, but once you need to renew your contract, you’ll want to be prepared for the changes the new vendor will introduce.
Secondly, you might want to hedge your bets by going multicloud... “Don’t put your eggs in one basket” is advice that’s well worth heeding. In the context of cloud consolidation, spreading your workloads across multiple clouds helps reduce the impact of losing a provider.
...or by building infrastructure on-premises and/or by using a hybrid cloud. You can mitigate the risks involved with shifts in the cloud market by extracting workloads from public clouds in the first place. You can do this by building on-premises infrastructure and/or by using a hybrid cloud (i.e., by using a private cloud in conjunction with public ones).
These options grant greater security and control over cloud workloads and are therefore often dedicated to handling the most critical ones. However, because of the resources these options require and the extra benefits they provide, they are more expensive than purely public cloud offerings.
Thirdly, you need to keep in mind that the big three can also fall Remember how Nokia’s smartphone subsidiary used to be the biggest name in its category? The same fate can befall, Azure, AWS, or GCP, so you must always be vigilant, even if you feel that you’ve made the safest bet by choosing one of them.
Moreover, it’s not uncommon for large companies to streamline their services. This means that a cloud service you’ve come to rely upon might disappear. Of course, you’ll be given ample time to adjust and migrate to a similar service, so you ought to remain fine unless you’re sleeping at the wheel.
All in all, what cloud consolidation means for your business is that you must always remain vigilant and ready to act when shifts happen. To help you anticipate and prepare for changes to the cloud, contact SimplyClouds today.