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September 26, 2020
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CIO Think Tank: Setting the multi-cloud agenda

In June 2020, CIO held its first CIO Think Tank, a series of virtual roundtables that brought together 30 IT leaders to unpack one of the most important issues in enterprise technology today: managing multiple clouds. The roundtables also included IDC Research Director Deepak Mohan, IDG B2B Editor-in-Chief Eric Knorr, and cloud executives Deepak Patil and Bradd Lewis from Dell Technologies.

The objective of these discussions was to identify the key challenges associated with multi-cloud management and to offer a roadmap for IT leadership — as well as the technology industry — to overcome those obstacles. All participants drew on their own experience and knowledge to describe strategic and tactical approaches to selecting, provisioning, and maintaining multiple clouds for maximum business and IT benefit.

Multi-cloud is so new and evolving so quickly that the panel participants were not in universal agreement about its definition. Yet a consensus emerged: Multi-cloud has evolved to embrace not just multiple public IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) clouds, but also private, on-premises clouds.The only substantive disagreement was whether SaaS (software a service) should also be included; most thought it should be.

All 30 participating IT leaders were in the financial industry, where security, availability, and regulatory compliance are paramount (see the Participants list on page 9). With the intent of providing guidance amid constant cloud flux, this report captures and consolidates the thinking of forward-looking IT leaders in a complex multi-cloud world.

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