Why are more CIOs putting on-demand computing at the top of their to-do list?
CIOs are increasingly confident using a cloud-first strategy. Analyst Gartner says global spending on public cloud services will grow 21.4 percent through 2018 to total $186.4 billion, up from $153.5 billion in 2017. So, why are digital leaders choosing to push as many services as possible on demand? Three CIOs explain their reasons for putting their faith in the cloud.
1. Using external provision provides security expertise
Gideon Kay, European CIO at Dentsu Aegis Network, says his firm has a corporate vision it will be a 100 per cent “digital economy business” by 2020. The business defines that aim as creating and delivering services digitally to clients who demand this form of provision. Kay says cloud will play a key role in that approach.
“My strategy on cloud adoption is that cloud is the default — whatever opportunity we have, or whatever software we’re procuring, can we get that as a service? Can it could be cloud-based and cloud-delivered? If so, we’ll do it,” he says.
“There’ll always be situations and reasons why you can’t use the cloud, in which case we have to maintain the internal capability. But we’ve gone from relatively cloud-averse to being cloud as the default.”
Kay says that cloud-first approach stretches across applications, platform and infrastructure. He says it would be anathema to not make use of the expertise of external cloud partners. “No other commercial organisation can match what Amazon, Microsoft and Google can spend on security around their cloud infrastructure,” he says.
“There’s data governance questions and there might be clients that don’t allow us to pass their data to the cloud — and that’s why there might be a situation why we can’t go on demand. But our default option will always be to take the cloud option first if we can. And that approach will be multi-cloud where we’ll use a range of providers.”
Kay says he doesn’t believe the cloud is a one-size-fits-all situation right now. He says there’s still a bit of an arms race taking place and that different providers have different strengths. “Some are better at doing things better than others. And we, therefore, want to be able to take advantage of those capabilities,” says Kay.
“So, we will not be dogmatic and push everything to a single provider. We’re trying all of them — at the SaaS level, we’re using Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Workday. When it comes to IaaS and PaaS, we’re using AWS, Azure and Google. That’s a deliberate strategy. We have a view on which provider is stronger for a particular set of characteristics.”
2. Going all-in with a single provider boosts performance
Chris Ashworth, CIO at Hermes, first started moving services to Amazon just under a year ago. He is a big advocate for going on demand. “Cloud’s a no-brainer — there’s not going to be many companies in 10 years’ time that have got their own data centres, unless it’s a government organisation or for something extremely sensitive,” he says.