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Facing the Growing Complexities of the Public Cloud

By Henrique Cecci | December 05, 2022 | 0 Comments

Information TechnologyCloud and Edge Infrastructure

Imagine you go to a restaurant you’ve never tried before. You open the menu and notice that it contains a very large number of options to choose from. Moreover, to make matters worse, these options can be combined in any way and in any quantity you want, and you pay for only what you consume.

While this is an unrealistic analogy for a restaurant, public cloud services may not be too far off from this reality. Each year, public cloud providers invest billions of dollars in R&D, enabling the delivery of a multitude of new cloud services and functionalities.

For example, to illustrate the number of investments public cloud providers are making in innovation, take a look at the graphs below, which show the number of new announcements, services, and features that a company like AWS has been making annually.

Graphic 1: AWS New Announcements (Cumulative)

 

Graphic 2: AWS New Services or Functionalities (Cumulative)

On the one hand, innovation brings tremendous value to organizations. But on the other hand, the increasing complexity of these services also presents significant challenges for IT leaders.

To illustrate some of these challenges, let’s go back to the restaurant analogy. Suppose the vast number of menu options doesn’t intimidate you (although it did remind you of Barry Schwartz’s book “The Paradox of Choice” and his TED talk https://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_the_paradox_of_choice ). You would probably ask the waiter for help. Today is your lucky day, and you have found an excellent waiter. He knows all the options available, and he is unbiased and sensitive to your needs. He offers some suggestions and cost options, but contrary to the common wisdom that more choice is always better, you feel powerless and frustrated because choosing just one option among many requires specific knowledge and means giving up other potential good opportunities.

Despite the limitations of using a restaurant analogy for public cloud services, it is easy to see that the rapid growth of innovation and the accompanying complexities create additional challenges for organizations.
Based on numerous interactions and lessons learned, here are some recommendations that can help address the growing complexity of the public cloud:

  • Develop a broad view of the industry and of each cloud provider, but only select and prioritize the innovations that really matter to your organization’s current and future realities.
  • Prioritize investments in obtaining the necessary knowledge and skills, whether through the development of your internal teams or hiring externally qualified professional services.
  • Improve your knowledge and your relationship with the business areas to improve your ability to bring greater business value to them through the innovation of cloud services.

While these recommendations should be part of your organization’s processes, dealing with the growing complexities of the cloud may require additional ongoing efforts. After all, the current and future of public cloud computing will continue far beyond the “chicken or pasta” choice for many more years to come.

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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