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Migrating to a multicloud environment means you are going to encounter hurdles along the way – and some of these may be insurmountable without the help of an experienced partner.

This is where NTT’s multicloud platform rises to the challenge, supported by our partnership with Microsoft, among others. Our clients can rely on consistent and secure multicloud consumption, as we hold the highest level of certification in managing workloads across Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and more.

Our clients consume cloud services in a way that’s most comfortable for them and best aligns with their business needs  – whether that’s fully managed, co-managed or self-managed. And cloud migration is speeding up – Microsoft Azure revenue increased nearly 40% in the first quarter of 2022.

In this environment, are organizations moving to one or multiple vendors, and what drives this decision?

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Managing the risk factor

One aspect to consider is that organizations want to manage their risks. As Ulrich Homann, Corporate Vice President of Cloud and Artificial Intelligence at Microsoft, explains: “Putting all their eggs into one basket seems complex or risky to many organizations, so they’re trying to figure out how to spread and manage their risk across different providers – whether it’s AWS, GCP or Microsoft, or other vendors like SAP and Salesforce.”

These organizations are carefully considering how they can partner with the right vendor at the right time and in the right scenario to meet their needs.

Another factor in their decision is innovation or getting access to innovation and – potentially – new business models. “You can address many of these challenges by partnering with multiple organizations,” says Ulrich.

Microsoft is simplifying multicloud by extending the reach of their clients’ Azure investment into scenarios such as on-premises data center management or AWS resource management, and by taking key Azure capabilities, such as database or application platforms, into the multicloud environment.

“Our clients can run an application where they need to run it, whether it’s in their data center, in an AWS region or in a GCP region – whichever is the most suitable for the scenario,” says Ulrich.

Addressing security concerns

As organizations step into the multicloud environment, persistent concerns include security, costs, data sovereignty, a lack of platform expertise and vendor lock-in.

However, says Ulrich, “If you look at the combined investment from Microsoft and AWS in security, it’s hard to fathom that single companies can invest in that level of security.”

Digital sovereignty – all parties controlling their own data – is also important to Microsoft. Their strong and transparent controls ensure that access to systems and data is still managed by the client.

They are also using technologies such as confidential computing: a way of encrypting data that removes even the in-process abilities of Microsoft or other operators to access the data. “This makes it possible for you to entrust even the most sensitive data to the public cloud without fear of this data being compromised,” says Ulrich.

Cloud providers are also investing in sustainability, for example, at a scale that is out of reach for individual organizations.

Understanding costs

Microsoft educates their clients so they understand cloud-related costs in a transparent way. “We don’t compare apples and oranges,” Ulrich says.

They even incentivize their engagement teams to keep reducing the cost of individual solutions – a short-term loss of revenue but a long-term gain for both Microsoft and the client, as this encourages large-scale cloud adoption.

Drivers of network change

In the next year or two, Microsoft expects their clients to focus their transformation and innovation efforts on the following areas:

  • Sustainability: A key focus for all organizations is doing more with less while focusing on their ecological footprint. In addition, they're seeking greater transparency around their operations and supply chain.
  • Hybrid working: This is a big focus for all organizations that want to drive greater productivity and inclusion in the workforce.
  • End-to-end security: This is a major theme, from development to operations. There’s a big focus on bringing security into the development stream upfront.
  • Artificial intelligence and other developments like the metaverse: How do these developments support the trends listed above, and how do organizations adopt such technology fast but responsibly?

Ulrich advises that organizations must balance what they want to accomplish with how they plan to govern and manage it, and that this is best achieved with the help of partners such as NTT and Microsoft: “The combined expertise of partners like NTT and Microsoft supports organizations that want to chart their way through these areas of development in the most efficient way.”

Read more about NTT’s Multicloud as a Service.

Oscar Garcia is Senior Vice President of Strategy, Technology and Platforms at NTT.