Maintaining and securing devices, apps and data in a hybrid multi-cloud environment has become a nightmare for many organizations

Globally and across Asia Pacific, the cloud has emerged as a key foundation for many organizations’ digital transformation.

More specifically, today’s cloud adoption strategy is typically one that’s hybrid and multi-cloud.

C-level executives, however, have become painfully aware that, along with the benefits – agility in scaling up and scaling out in the cloud to meet fast-changing business demands – managing infrastructure, endpoints, apps and data in a hybrid and multi-cloud environment can be extremely complex.

The acute tech talent crunch we’re experiencing today exacerbates the difficulties. In fact, it’s no exaggeration when some CIOs call it a nightmare…

On 25 April 2023, DigiconAsia joined hands with NTT and Cisco to organize an exclusive closed-door roundtable lunch discussion with 15 senior business and IT executives based in Singapore to discuss the impact of cloud complexities and costs on businesses in the region, and how their organizations are coping with their evolving cloud strategies.

Complexities and costs

When monitoring modern-day apps, organizations are discovering that traditional monitoring tools, skills and processes are unable to keep pace with the growing cloud sprawl in today’s business IT environment.

With farsighted organizations looking to embrace Web 3.0 and the metaverse for the future of their business, we can only imagine the exponential complexity and challenges in monitoring performance in the cloud.

Over the years, different organizations have adopted and adapted to different cloud management strategies to meet changing business demands.

Data is driving infrastructure decisions for enterprises, with data protection, recovery and sovereignty topping the list of infrastructure deployment criteria.

Applications are also designed very differently than they were just two years ago. They need to be more agile and reactive to adjust to new demands, often as part of a multi-cloud ecosystem. 

However, data visibility is a growing challenge, while cloud cost control continues to rank as a top IT management challenge.

Another challenge is the vast amounts of data that monitoring tools generate. Where’s the return on investment if the data is meaningless to the person reading it? Organizations must be able to interpret and contextualize the data to support their business outcomes. These tools, which flag many anomalies, also need to deliver value to the operations team – so contextualization is necessary in both the business and technical environment.

Nightmares and dreams

Participants at the event understood the difference between monitoring and observability: Monitoring is based on gathering predefined sets of metrics or logs, while observability is a tool that allows teams to actively debug their systems, based on exploring properties and patterns not defined in advance.

Most organizations use more than one type of IT infrastructure, and nearly all agree that having a single platform to manage them all would be ideal, given the dearth of cloud management talent.

The solution, according to NTT and Cisco, lies in full-stack observability, which means the IT and security teams have a detailed view of the health and behavior of applications, storage, services, network and more.

NTT’s 360 Observability is a managed service powered by Cisco’s full-stack observability solution that allows organizations to achieve deep visibility over their cloud-native applications, and hybrid IT and multi-cloud infrastructure correlated to business context across the entire IT stack.

It combines end-to-end maturity assessments of architectures and strategies tied to desired business outcomes and KPIs, and application monitoring for comprehensive visibility into contingent performance issues so teams can quickly remediate problems.

If so, the moderator asked, is this single-pane-of-glass proactive cloud performance management solution a dream come true?  One participant put it deftly: “We can’t be too sure it’s a dream come true, but it certainly helps take care of our nightmares!”