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September 23, 2019
Anthos: Addressing the complexity challenge for multi-cloud environments
By: Firas Ghantous and Tom Norton

Today, few if any businesses would question the value that cloud offers. In terms of scalability, flexibility, cost and as a foundation for innovation and growth, cloud’s advantages are now self-evident. However, very few businesses operate with a single cloud provider and many will also be maintaining on-premise legacy infrastructures that are critical to their ongoing operations. In fact, Accenture research shows that hybrid and multi-cloud environments had grown from 48% of companies’ cloud deployments to 75% in 2018. And when asked earlier this year, 60% of Accenture clients said that they preferred hybrid cloud compared with 23% who expressed a preference for public cloud only. And as regulations governing the use of personal data proliferate, data explosion on the edge happens and the concerns about data control manifest, hybrid strategies are likely to increase. The challenge is clear: how can organizations develop and implement an integrated approach for running these complex and constantly evolving hybrid environments?

It’s precisely this challenge that Google Anthos is designed to address. It’s a new open-source platform that can be used to run apps anywhere on-premise and/or in public and private cloud environments. This isn’t just critical for businesses running their own complex hybrid environments, it’s also coming into its own as all businesses seek to embrace the opportunities afforded by partnering with others across expanding ecosystems.

Future Systems are going to be Boundaryless, Adaptable and Radically Human, and in these systems, Anthos is designed to give organizations the ability to integrate what they can do with new micro services, container-based technologies on-premise and across multiple different clouds simply and securely. Anthos avoids cloud vendor lock-in and also means that app developments teams don’t have to learn to use multiple toolsets in order to work effectively across a range of environments.

What does that mean in practice? Take a highly regulated industry such as financial services. Companies typically keep many critical and sensitive workloads on premise for reasons including compliance and security. In addition, many have to maintain crucial legacy apps that, for practical and cost reasons, cannot be rewritten to operate in a cloud environment. For these industries, it’s possible to use Anthos to adopt a cloud-first strategy because it provides a consistent operational platform for running on-prem and cloud workloads.

Accenture’s also exploring the use of Anthos in our own operations. For example, Accenture Operations is piloting Anthos for certain critical management applications. Anthos will enable Accenture Operations to deploy a single application version globally across multiple instances while meeting strict data residency and security requirements. Applied this way, a company using Anthos could run the same applications in multiple environments easily, which would enable us to move payloads into the cloud, developing them in more efficient ways while retaining the ability to deploy locally as required for security or privacy purposes.

As more organizations initiate their journey to what we call ‘Future Systems’, digital decoupling is an essential step. It’s the process of using new technologies, data-access methods and development methodologies to build new systems that execute on top of legacy systems. And that’s an imperative as businesses increasingly build connected and adaptable ecosystems of business units and partners. Through successful decoupling of infrastructure, services and teams, Anthos minimizes the need for manual coordination, reduces cost and complexity and significantly accelerates developer velocity and business productivity.

As one of Google’s first Anthos partners, Accenture, through the Accenture Google Cloud Business Group (AGBG) is committed to bringing Anthos to more organizations as a key building block of their hybrid and multi-cloud strategies. We’re excited by the possibilities it offers our clients to create real business value within today’s and tomorrow’s IT environments by running apps on both Google Cloud Platform and in data centers with Anthos.

There’s no doubt that Anthos is a significant step forward for the future of multi-cloud and hybrid environments. And we’re working closely with Google to make sure that as the solution expands and develops, our clients will be first in line to gain the benefits.

To find out more about Accenture and Google Cloud, visit our microsite or contact AGBG-Anthos@accenture.com.

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