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multi-cloudEven though most IT organizations are still a long way from mastering the management of public clouds, a significant percentage are already employing two or more clouds.

A new survey conducted by the research firm on behalf of BMC Software finds that respondents view having multiple public clouds as a way to contain costs (45 percent), increase agility (44 percent), or mitigate risks (40 percent). A full 80 percent agree that new processes and tools are needed to manage public clouds, though. That may help explain why 40 percent of the respondents admit they don’t know how much they’re spending in total on cloud services.

Multi-cloud  challenges

Saar Shwartz, chief marketing officer for BMC, says spending on cloud services often spins out of control because individual departments within an organization don’t realize how large the bill for cloud services becomes when they use a corporate credit card to pay for them. Much like a young adult that gets their first credit cards, it’s not long before they have spent significantly more than anyone in the organization realizes. That usually results in some unpleasant conversations between IT, line-of-business units, and the chief financial officer, says Shwartz.

The survey, announced at a BMC Exchange event, finds that most respondents (78 percent) expect advances in artificial intelligence (AI) to make it simpler to manage multiple clouds. While companies such as BMC are investing heavily in machine learning algorithms and other forms of AI, Shwartz says IT organizations should not expect AI to provide a silver bullet for managing multiple clouds anytime soon.

Opportunities for MSPs

That should come as good news for managed service providers. Given the current talent gap, Shwartz says many organizations are relying on external expertise to train them on how to manage public clouds effectively. Most of the IT teams involved in that training expect to be able to manage public clouds on their own. But, a fair number of them will conclude that the organization providing the training is in a better position perform that task on their behalf. In that context, providing cloud management training might be one of the best methods MSPs can employ to generate a sales lead.

Most IT organizations still don’t fully appreciate how different managing a public cloud is from managing an on-premises environment. In the cloud, everything is programmatically exposed via an application programming interface (API), including all the security elements. In an on-premises environment, IT teams are still swiveling between various management consoles to figure out what’s happening. Over time, the on-premises IT environment will look a lot more like a cloud. But, many of the IT professionals trying to make the transition from managing on-premises environments to managing the cloud will need to, at the very least, master some rudimentary programming skills.

Of course, many MSPs are wrestling with the same transition. The only real difference is that the average MSP should be financially motivated to make that transition sooner than later.

Photo: winui/

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Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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