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Demands of multicloud environments shifting – report
Thu, 6th Apr 2023
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The top business impacts of the cloud landscape across Australia and New Zealand and the rest of the world have been revealed in a new report.

NetApp has released the 2023 Cloud Complexity Report, a global survey exploring how technology decision makers are navigating cloud requirements coming from digital transformation and AI initiatives and the complexity of multicloud environments. 

The report found that 98% of senior IT leaders have been impacted by increasing cloud complexity in some capacity, potentially leading to poor IT performance, loss in revenue and barriers to business growth.

"Cloud complexity is at an unprecedented level, and organisations across Australia and New Zealand are under ongoing pressure to manage their cyber risk, the adoption of emerging technologies and to optimise budgets," says Matthew Hurford, Vice President and Managing Director at NetApp in Australia and New Zealand. 

"While the data shows that managing cyber risk is consistently high across every region, the ANZ data shows that tech teams are not taking full advantage of applications, and this represents a huge opportunity."

Key findings from the report include:

Cloud complexity reaches a tipping point
Data complexity has reached a boiling point for companies globally, and tech executives are feeling the pressure to contain its impact on the business. However, technical and organisational challenges may stunt their cloud strategies, with 88% citing working across cloud environments as a barrier, while 32% struggle just to align on a clear vision at the leadership level.

Global context: The following regions list this as their top concern if data complexity is not managed:
Cybersecurity: France, Spain, and Australia/New Zealand 
Leadership scepticism: France, Spain, Japan 
Inefficient use across the organisation: Australia/New Zealand 
Lack of visibility: Japan
In Australia and New Zealand, the top business impacts due to increasing complexity of data across their cloud environments are increased cybersecurity risk (54%), staff not taking full advantage of business applications (51%), increased scepticism over cloud from leadership (45%), and lack of visibility into business operations (44%).

Leadership want cloud results now
Sustainability has become an unexpected cloud-driver, with nearly eight in ten tech executives citing ESG outcomes as critical to their cloud strategy. However, return on investment (ROI) is a concern among leadership, with 84% of tech executives saying their cloud strategy is already expected to show results across the organisation.

Global context:
Nearly half of tech executives (49%) report that when cloud strategy discussions happen, cost concerns come up often or all the time. Data regulation and compliance is another cloud driver, with various local regulations promoting their multicloud strategy most or some of the time.
In Australia and New Zealand, 86% of tech executives are already expected to show a ROI on what the company has spent on cloud, either in increased revenue or in saved costs or are under pressure to show short-term progress.

Three out of four tech (71%) of executives from Australia and New Zealand say their multicloud strategy is driven by data sovereignty requirements.

Tech executives consider AI as a possible solution
In the next year, over a third (37%) of tech executives report that half or more of their cloud deployments will be supported by AI-driven applications. Nearly half of tech executives at smaller companies those with fewer than 250 employees expect to reach the 50% mark in the next year, and 63% by 2030, while larger companies lag.

Global context:
The U.S. leads EMEA and APAC on plans to deploy AI-driven cloud applications in the next year, with France and Japan as outliers in their regions. In ANZ, 56% of tech executives report that half or more of their cloud deployments will be supported by AI-driven applications by 2030. This presents a long-term growth opportunity for AI-driven applications in the region. Scaling AI is the top priority in EMEA and APAC, but is second in the U.S., behind meeting regulatory compliance.

"Our global research report highlights paradigm shifts in how technology leaders look at and manage their cloud initiatives," says Ronen Schwartz, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cloud Storage, NetApp. 

"As cloud adoption accelerates and businesses innovate faster to compete, technology leaders are facing growing pressure to juggle multiple priorities at once causing many to rethink how they manage efficiency and security in this new environment," he says.

Gabie Boko, Chief Marketing Officer, NetApp, adds, "Our global survey data demonstrates the extreme complexity of modern IT environments, and the pressure technology executives are under to show measurable outcomes from cloud investments.

"At NetApp, we've simplified the complex through our approach, which enables technology executives to increase the speed of innovation, lower costs and improve consistency, flexibility and agility across on-premises and cloud environments."

Randy Kerns, Senior Strategist & Analyst at the Evaluator Group, says NetApp's global research report reveals a disconnect between the executives outside of IT and those within.

"Specifically, leaders working to execute on cloud are the ones most ingrained in the cost and complexity issues while those outside of IT have yet to fully understand," he says. 

"In the process of shifting to the cloud, leaders are experiencing challenges, leaving room for vendors to address these current or yet-to-be discovered issues.

"As customers express concerns with cloud implementation, vendors have the opportunity to build and offer solutions to simplify the process."

Matthew Swinbourne, CTO, Cloud Architecture, NetApp Asia Pacific, adds, "APAC leaders today recognise clouds importance in producing critical business outcomes such as data sovereignty and sustainability. 

"By addressing the cloud complexity confronting their organisations, they can unlock the best of the cloud and innovate faster to compete," he says.

"With NetApp's unique combination of expertise, capabilities and hyperscaler partnerships, we help customers use the clouds they want, the way they want, while optimising for cost, risk, efficiency, and sustainability.

"As organisations increasingly move to multi-cloud environments, NetApp aims to alleviate efficiency bottlenecks by allowing IT leaders to manage their systems on one, streamlined user interface. By taking an evolved cloud approach, NetApp is leading the charge for next generation cloud management and storage equipping teams with the tools necessary to stay abreast of the key trends outlined in the research report, for example optimising costs, assessing risks, and operating sustainably."