Research commissioned by Prosimo finds traditional networking impedes multi-cloud journey


Prosimo, the Application Experience Infrastructure company, released its 2021 Semi-Annual State of Multi-Cloud Infrastructure Report and Application eXperience Infrastructure Study [AXIS]. The survey of more than 400 IT leaders across the US and the UK whose organisations had more than 1000 employees examined the performance of applications across global cloud service provider (CSP) regions.

Overall, the survey found that 62% of IT decision makers (ITDMs) state that finding a consistent network approach across CSPs is the top cloud networking challenge. It also found 62% of enterprises have plans for mature multi-cloud within two years, which grows to 91% after two years - indicative that most enterprises are struggling to get beyond the initial stage of multi-cloud as organizations lack a comprehensive multi-cloud networking strategy.

While 63% of ITDMs define multi-cloud success through “ensuring consistency, security measures across users, apps, and devices,” 53% cannot achieve this with traditional networking approaches. As a result, enterprises are in varying early stages of the multi-cloud journey:

  • 10% of enterprises have adopted one CSP in one region 
  • 13% having adopted one CSP in multiple regions
  • 10% of enterprises using multiple CSPs and multiple regions
  • 4% of enterprises are supporting a single application across multiple clouds

“Despite the growing buzz in the industry that most enterprises are in multi-cloud, key findings from our study revealed that most organisations aren’t able to capitalize on the full set of opportunities and benefits of multi-cloud,” said Mehul Patel, customer insights and intelligence for Prosimo. “As different teams and business units start using different CSPs; this is increasing the complexity of managing across their entire cloud environment, especially as customers continue to expand their footprint.” 

To support multi-cloud, customers need to lay the foundation of an integrated stack starting with cloud networking that understands individual application requirements. But as most enterprises have relied on either do-it-yourself strategies – requiring them to ‘stitch together’  disparate services or stack virtual applications with L3 networking approaches for connectivity – it leads to visibility gaps that make balancing the security and performance of enterprise applications problematic. Furthermore, these approaches do not scale, leading to more operational complexity with rising and uncontrollable cloud spend. 

The survey also reveals that nearly half (45%) of enterprises would ideally have advanced multi-cloud capabilities today, barring such challenges. While traditional networking approaches, including legacy networking, VPN, and traditional WAN, are failing, the AXI Study shows that a multi-cloud transit reduces latency across 50% more paths than a single cloud alone while improving performance by up to 55% for routes.  

Enterprises Expect ‘Consistent User Experience’ from Multi-Cloud 

As more enterprises advance through their multi-cloud journey, ITDMs surveyed share that the top three requirements are: 

  • Consistent application user experience (55%) was the essential factor to deliver fast, reliable and secure application experiences for all users, anywhere.
  • Seamless multi-cloud networking (54%) to ensure secure experiences without sacrificing performance and simplify multi-cloud operations that offer complete visibility.
  • Application modernisation (51%) as enterprises now require a consistent way for DevOps teams to build, test and deploy applications quickly and securely as 23% of organisations have transitioned to cloud-native.  

Top Enterprise Multi-Cloud Challenge: Common Architecture and Management  Across Multi-Cloud Environments 

In many enterprises, teams outside of IT operations, including business units and DevOps, are deciding which cloud provider to use based on factors including the location of applications and users, a CSP’s unique features, and experience using a particular CSP. In addition, another challenge for enterprises is the talent gap when it comes to security (31%) and cloud (31%), especially as it relates to the experience and knowledge of each CSP offer. The disparate use of cloud within enterprises have led to four key challenges for cloud architects tasked to make it all work together to support business alignment and initiatives:

  • Cloud Networking: 62% of ITDMs state that finding a consistent network approach across CSPs is the top challenge.
  • Application performance: 46% of enterprises state balancing security without negatively impacting performance is the biggest multi-cloud inhibitor.
  • Security: 58% of enterprises say implementing Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) for cloud workloads is a significant hurdle.
  • Observability: 50% state understanding network usage across CSPs is a persistent gap.

Multi-Cloud Spending Rising But Data Transfer Fees Remains a Challenge

Cloud spending in the US currently accounts for 31% of overall IT budgets. However, over the next 12 months, more enterprises report rising cloud budgets (73%). This is in line with the trend towards application modernisation, with nearly half (46%) of IT professionals reporting that within 12 months, at least 75% of their applications will be in the cloud. 

Industry Deep Dive: Retail and Financial Services Have Relatively Mature Multi-Cloud Adoption

Every industry is going through a rapid transformation to deliver new digital services for employees, partners, and customers that improve operational efficiency, customer experiences and create competitive advantages.

  • Retail is driven by digital transformation to deliver compelling new customer experiences and an integrated omnichannel experience, especially since the onset of the pandemic. This vertical shows the most aggressive plans for multi-cloud adoption over the next 24 months (58%). 
  • Financial services (43%) come next, as banks are expanding the number of mobile and remote banking services during the pandemic, as well as supporting the growing popularity of real-time trading.
  • Healthcare (38%) has also increased its focus on digital services backed by the cloud during the pandemic in providing telehealth services while supporting an increasing number of health monitoring IoT devices.  
  • Manufacturing (36%) continues to invest in technology to support a growing number of use cases hosted by the cloud, including IIoT and sensors for testing and streamlining the manufacturing process. 

"Different classes of problems show up in different stages of a cloud architect’s journey to the cloud. The first step here is to acknowledge the stage and solve for cloud networking and operational simplicity for that stage. Next comes building on top of that to get to a scalable cloud infrastructure,” said Ramesh Prabagaran, CEO and co-founder of Prosimo. “Enterprises must ensure they have the adequate tools, processes and hygiene as adoption of multi-cloud soars over the next several years, or face alarming risk to their business growth.”

Benefits of Multi-Cloud Transit

A multi-cloud networking transit utilising cloud-native constructs provides end-to-end connectivity to application endpoints across regions that work at the application layer to deliver the greatest per-application performance improvement. The Prosimo AXI Study found: 

  • Users see 15-80% performance variation across applications, even when the same application is accessed from different regions.
  • Simplest optimisation leads to 5-7% performance improvement between different applications and by more than 7% for a single application type.
  • Applying optimisation approaches curated for the specific application type, performance variations range from 66% and to as much as 89% improvements.
  • 55% of traffic routes realised performance improvement when enterprises connect applications and users via a multi-cloud transit.

Survey Methodology:

The study commissioned by Prosimo and conducted by Sapio Research, an independent research company, targeted over 400 enterprise-level IT decision-makers (ITDMs) with expertise in cloud technologies in key vertical sectors across the U.S. and U.K. to ascertain the challenges and the opportunities enterprises face today in adopting mature multi-cloud networking practices.

AXI Study Methodology:

Prosimo collected data from nearly 500+ PoPs (points of presence) to compare the network transit performance of the three largest cloud service providers (CSPs): Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (Azure), and Google (GCP), worldwide. 

This study helps cloud architects make a data-informed decision about their multi-cloud networking journey by showcasing the four challenge buckets fellow enterprise architects are facing and how looking at the problem with an integrated stack can reap benefits and simplify the journey.

Add a Comment

No messages on this article yet

Editorial: +44 (0)1892 536363
Publisher: +44 (0)208 440 0372
Subscribe FREE to the weekly E-newsletter