Giorgio Nebuloni
Giorgio Nebuloni (Associate Vice President)

Remember ten years ago? The word cloud had barely been coined and already pundits (must have been industry analysts) were predicting it would disappear. Cloud would become EVERYTHING, hence the concept would evaporate; i.e. be retired. Turned out somewhat differently. Today, everyone and their dog is using multiple cloud services in Europe. Think about a company (ANY company) you know, that has no productivity suites or HR capabilities delivered in SaaS mode, no virtualized resources on-premise, and no dedicated capacity at an external managed service provider.

Exactly — there aren’t any companies like that.

There have, however, been massive changes in the past ten years. People used to purchase hardware, now they consume it. Who’s still buying DVDs out there, when you’ve got Netflix, HBO Go, and Sky? More than half of the infra capacity in Europe will be going to service providers by 2020 according to us at IDC. All large IT buyers in Europe, from Deutsche Bahn to Dutch Post, have a cloud first strategy in place. They don’t want DVDs, they want the content. In many cases this will still be on-premise content, but consumed differently, in a flexible mode. In a growing number of scenarios, it will be content hosted and “streamed” by various service providers (xSPs).

This gives incredible freedom to users and developers, but it raises a bunch of scary questions for everyone else.

A Bunch of Scary Questions

High ranking IT buyers like Holger Fahner at Daimler are in the candy shop — but a lot of candies are poisoned! How do they avoid lock-in in large clouds?  Can they patch together the multiple cloud back-ends they have? How about compliance and data governance?

These guys know it now: Cloud has anything but vanished — it has become #Multicloud.

IT departments are hardly the only ones pivoting. Hardware vendors are fighting for relevance. They’re also competing fiercely in the incredibly dispersed market for xSP infrastructure. There are thousands of tiny-to-massive customers with diverging requirements.

Even software and infrastructure cloud services providers are struggling to stand out from the crowd. How can they differentiate in the content overload? Can they make a jump and capture the on-premise wallets?

These Netflix dilemmas lead to a #Multicloud discussion in each and every ecosystem. After months of discussions with early adopters (think an online retailer like Expedia or an advanced incumbent like ING), we are now convinced that Multicloud environments will be the future in the European landscape.

Hybrid cloud consisted mostly of ad hoc bridges between different cloud environments. Multicloud is about IT decision makers getting back on the horse, measuring the costs and ensuring everything runs to perfection. It means moving from a multitude of unmanaged, potentially cost-inefficient cloud services to a programmatic setup of resources and a redesign of the internal processes.

But how can buyers get to that nirvana? How can vendors play a strategic role in those Multicloud journeys? Which technologies stand to win and lose in this brave new world?

Those dilemmas are at the core of our newly launched European Infrastructure for Multicloud research. We have recently published a first set of reports including

  • Multicloud in Europe: Scenarios and Implications for IT Buyers
  • Implications of the Code of Conduct for Cloud Infrastructure Service Providers in Europe
  • IDC Survey Spotlight: European Attitudes Toward On- and Off-Premise Applications

We are investing the focus of our coverage on Service Provider infrastructure, on premise hardware consumption models and Multicloud readiness.

What do you guys think? Do you see the need of Multicloud out there in the marketplace? Make sure to join the conversation below!

If you have immediate questions, please contact Giorgio Nebuloni.

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