Executive Summary: ISG Provider Lens™ Multi Public Cloud Solutions - Global 2023
Cloud-native implementations help maximize business value and optimize costs
In the wake of the pandemic, organizations have found it essential to embrace cloud technologies to be able to continue on their journey toward achieving digital excellence. As organizations must embrace cloud technologies to sustain their growth momentum, creating a resilient and comprehensive strategy for adopting multiple cloud platforms has become a pivotal driver for growth. Amidst this, organizations grapple with security concerns, cost overruns and operational inflexibility due to the unoptimized utilization of cloud resources, resulting in increased system downtimes and rising cloud bills.
Many organizations have partially or entirely migrated their on-premises solutions to the cloud, while others continue to identify the best-fit digital transformation strategy. However, numerous complexities related to operating in two different realms and stipulations associated with cloud technology usage during migration drive organizations to seek more scalable and agile solutions.
Cloud-native technologies have proven their resilience over time and, after years in the shadows of traditional application development methods, are now recognized by enterprises for their ability to provide increased modularity, cost-effectiveness, agility, and scalability. According to a 2022 report by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, surveying 2,063 organizations globally, nearly 44 percent use containers for nearly all their greenfield application development activities. Among organizations that extensively use cloud-native
application development technologies, nearly 48 percent release codes daily, compared to only 23 percent of organizations with limited knowledge of cloud-native maturity.
Organizations have started to take cognizance of the benefits of improved scalability of IT resources to meet demand fluctuations, reduced application development timelines owing to extensive developments in the Shift Left approach, and improved integration with DevOps and CI/CD pipelines delivered by container-based microservices and architectures. Organizations are increasingly focusing on augmenting their cloud-native capabilities by integrating disruptive application development approaches in multicloud environments, such as serverless computing, composable architecture and infrastructure-as a-code (IaC), and robust integration with DevSecOps and container orchestration platforms such as Kubernetes and Docker. Based on numerous discussions within the provider community, the key trends below have been identified by ISG as influential in
shaping the cloud-native computing space:
● While container and Kubernetes adoption is growing, many enterprises still need help in effectively scaling cloud-native technologies across their IT landscapes. Consequently, organizations are likely to focus more on
devising robust container migration strategies to accelerate their cloud-native journeys.
● There is a strong potential for open-source tools to coexist with technological prowess identical to proprietary cloud-native observability, security and FinOps solutions.
● Third, the cloud-native observability space is experiencing significant growth in agent-based monitoring and security solutions.
● Although agentless solutions are more agile and need less maintenance, agent-based solutions provide specialized and comprehensive endpoint scanning capabilities.
● Organizations have the potential to further augment their no-code instrumentation capabilities within the cloud-native observability space, t delivering better observability into their Kubernetes environments. Also, the trend suggests that multiple platforms are working together to provide clients with greater visibility into their environments.
● Providers are extensively looking to leverage advanced AI and ML algorithms to identify potential blind spots within environments, automatically remediate issues and reduce false alerts, thereby allowing organizations to attend to only the most critical elements. Also, we see providers constantly trying to augment their capabilities to identify specific behavioral patterns associated with instances that could pose potential threats.
● Within the multicloud FinOps space, providers are taking active steps to help clients manage and regulate their cloud costs by delivering capabilities such as infrastructure optimization, management, improved utilization of reserved instances (RIs) and waste reclamation strategies.
The cloud-native observability space is evolving, with enterprises across the globe showing interest in investing in platforms that enable continuous observation and monitoring of their cloud-native assets. This study has identified five distinct pattens in this observability space. First, a growing emphasis on leveraging AI and ML technologies to automate capabilities for detecting anomalies in the environment and analyzing contextual data based on UX and topology mapping for deriving a holistic comprehension of data from multiple sources. Second, enterprises are consciously concentrating on acquiring and integrating third-party solutions into their existing portfolio. For example, Cisco has acquired Opsani, Epsagon and replex to boost the automation capabilities of its flagship product, AppDynamics. Third, solution providers are proactively looking at integrating their platforms with open-source tools such as Prometheus, OpenTelemetry and Vector to provide users with deeper observability insights. Fourth, there is a trend among solution providers to
leverage observability data to amplify their robust cloud-native security portfolio. Several observability solution providers are helping their clients strengthen their cloud-native security posture as well. Fifth, vendors are consciously channeling their efforts to augment distributed tracing capabilities. In a multicloud
environment, the ability to analyze and decipher a user’s behavior across the entire value-chain with an asset is pivotal in helping clients safeguard their assets.
As organizations globally lean to container-based adoption, providers are working to refine their existing cloud-native security portfolios. The extensive use of highly distributed and open container-based systems introduces unique security threats compared to traditional cloud infrastructure. Our research identifies
distinct areas where the provider community is significantly intensifying its efforts to enhance cloud-native security. First, providers focus on identifying ways to seamlessly integrate their solutions with the cloud provider’s security space to devise comprehensive risk management strategies, addressing issues such as misconfigurations, permission abuse and data theft. Second, there is a strong focus on identifying behavioral patterns of instances to help users identify blind spots within their infrastructure and gauge risks. Third, providers consciously introduce advanced features in their identity access management (IAM) solutions to establish role-based access controls (RBAC) that prevent abuse of critical resources. Fourth, we observed that
providers actively focus on developing AI and ML-powered automation to continuously scan an asset’s security posture, identify anomalies, reduce noise alerts and devise auto-remediation strategies. Fifth, there is an emphasis on helping users identify potential blind spots in their cloud-native environment and visualizing potential attack routes.
Enterprises’ growing reliance on public clouds is increasing their cloud costs, driving global demand for FinOps platforms to monitor and control expenses. These platforms, which manage clients’ global IT assets and
reduce their costs, are essential partners in maintaining complex cloud environments. They enable companies to track their cloud resources and impose accountability for cloud usage, thereby reducing the wastage of cloud resources and lowering cloud expenses. There is an increasing demand for timely reports on cloud spend and accountability on cloud spending with allied business value obtained. Organizations are looking for FinOps/Cloud Management Platforms (CMP) that optimize cloud spending across all cloud environments.
We have observed that the success of the FinOps strategy depends on the existence of a central FinOps team or Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) to standardize cost optimization processes across all the cloud
workloads. This model assumes that the central team has the required knowledge and expertise to identify high-value opportunities to improve efficiency. However, as cloud adoption and usage increase, it is recommended that the central team delegate decision-making for resource optimization to project teams.
The central team can drive broader efforts to encourage the adoption of FinOps across the organization, necessitating collaboration between finance, engineering and executive leadership. Overall, the global ecosystem of vendors, service integrators and community members around FinOps is expanding, and the
market has grown by more than 30 percent since last year, and we expect to grow even faster in the coming years.
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