Flexera acquiring RightScale points to need for cost and complexity optimisation across the IT stack

Cloud cost optimisation and management continues to be a hot area – and Flexera’s acquisition of RightScale, announced last week, plays into that theme even further.

RightScale may be well known for its authoritative yearly State of the Cloud reports, but its bread and butter is focused around reducing the cost headaches and complexity of cloud deployments. This can be through dashboards which collate performance and can identify wasted cloud spend, or being able to access multiple clouds from a single portal.

Flexera’s focus is not dissimilar; the Illinois-headquartered firm offers products around IT and software asset management (SAM). Together, the two companies will aim to provide an end-to-end set of tools to manage the entire IT stack, from hardware, to software, to SaaS.

“In today’s IT environment, a strong technology asset management strategy is not a nice-to-have – it’s required,” wrote Michael Crandell, CEO of RightScale in a blog post. “Enterprises spend approximately 60% of their IT budgets on software, hardware, SaaS, and cloud technology. With the RightScale solutions under the Flexera product umbrella, you’ll have the most comprehensive set of tools to help you manage your IT spend.”

That is the rationale therefore – but what is backing this up? As regular readers of this publication will testify, multi-cloud is becoming an essential part of organisations’ IT operations in 2018. Indeed, according to this year’s State of the Cloud, more than four in five enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy in place. Not only does it mitigate against the dreaded vendor lock-in, but companies are seeing the benefits of different clouds for different workloads; take Netflix for instance, and the furore around the company – a long-time AWS house – saying it used Google for certain disaster recovery workloads.

This approach has in some cases metamorphosed into something even more specific. Take the partnership announced last week by Microsoft and Volkswagen to put together what the companies are calling an ‘automotive cloud.’ From 2020, the duo claim, more than five million new Volkswagen brand vehicles per year will be fully connected, aiming for ‘a future fleet of cars which will behave as mobile ‘Internet of Things’ hubs linked by Microsoft Azure.’

Cloud solutions which are specific to certain industries are becoming more commonplace, such as the SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud, announced back in April. The product is tailored for manufacturers of all sizes, with features such as integration between business process systems and the shop floor, and connecting manufacturers to suppliers. At the time, the company said the move would help customers “take advantage of the Industrial Internet of Things by connecting equipment, people and operations across the extended digital supply chain and tightly integrating manufacturing with business operations.”

This may be the streamlined future for organisations – but for the time being the vast majority of companies out there will have a mix of cloud-based and legacy systems, in need of de-cluttering their infrastructure. “As the migration to cloud continues, our clients are telling us that cloud costs are escalating at a rate much faster than they envisioned or planned for, and that multi-cloud management complexities are becoming the norm – not the exception,” said Michael Adams, KPMG managing director.

“They want to be able to control and reduce spend across all of their cloud environments with one solution.”

You can find out more about the Flexera/RightScale acquisition here.

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