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Keith Buckley – VP ANZ & South East Asia at Riverbed Technology

Cloud computing has undoubtedly gone mainstream. The majority (96%) of Australian business decision-makers now view the use of cloud technologies as key to their company’s ongoing digital strategies, and recent research predicts that as much as 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020.

But as company’s chase the promise of cloud computing – a far more simple, agile and cost-effective IT – they’re finding it actually makes things more complex.

Companies are increasingly deploying multiple clouds (the average enterprise uses five), a hybrid of public and private, which is driving increased complexity in IT environments and raising new challenges.

Companies used to think cloud computing would simply replace hardware and software systems. You may need to spend a few days moving workloads and data, but the processes will be so simple, so easy – the apps and data will almost migrate themselves! These companies very quickly realised it wasn’t so simple, and they started asking hard questions: How can I get the most from my cloud providers?

How can I ensure a consistent performance of cloud apps for any user, anywhere, regardless of distance? How do I gain visibility into the cloud to ensure performance? How can I address performance issues when they do arise? How do I strategically plan application deployments across multiple cloud instances and in hybrid environments?

Adding to the pressure CIOs are already feeling to keep up with the changing nature of the cloud are the high expectations from the rest of the business. Many businesses view their cloud providers as strategic partners and drivers of business success. Yet, lack of transparency makes managing these relationships and overall performance more difficult than on-prem.

In the age of iPhone apps and advanced IoT devices, consumers expect more from their overall digital experience. But often, companies are falling short of these expectations because they lack end-to-end visibility into the cloud ecosystem – and in many cases, the data now sits much further from the user – resulting in performance gaps and disruptions that interfere with an employee’s ability to stay connected, satisfied and productive in the workplace and beyond.

The problem is so serious that seventy-three per cent of companies report experiencing poor SaaS performance on a monthly basis and 90 per cent indicate that this performance degradation impacts their business.

Like end-users, IT is often equally frustrated. They find themselves constantly reacting – not foreseeing – app performance issues, being unable able to detect problems before they impact users.

If you’re facing these challenges, you’re not alone. Riverbed research shows 92 per cent of organisations find it challenging to manage the performance of cloud environments. Using multiple tools including a mix of on-prem and cloud creates data silos that take time and effort to correlate.

Cloud architects and IT operations teams say that they’re looking for a single tool that will manage both cloud and on-premises performance. So, what can we do to take control of the cloud and best prepare for its challenges?

Gain visibility

Investing in digital experience management (DEM) tools that provide a holistic view across networks, apps, infrastructure, and end user devices will help to detect issues in performance and traffic across both cloud and on-prem environments before they impact users or incur serious costs.

By measuring and monitoring and providing the same level of insight across all environments, we are able to better understand and predict the user’s experience of the apps they use to stay productive. Once we have that visibility, can better address the gaps. When combined with SaaS acceleration tools, DEM technologies can also help companies over the limitations of application latency, bandwidth constraints, and network congestion and dramatically accelerate the performance of businesses’ most critical applications. In turn, companies are accelerating their time to market, competitiveness and revenue growth – with happier and more productive employees to boot.