When I hear people say, “I’m a cross-cloud architect,” I wonder what the heck they mean.

I’m seeing an emerging pattern in the cloud computing space where enterprises are morphing from dealing with siloed public clouds a cloud at a time, to dealing with all clouds—including existing traditional systems—as strategic platforms. Or dealing with more holistic IT architecture that uses public clouds, which is a much more complex problem to solve.

Still, what does a “cross-cloud” architect do? I see three areas of primary focus:

Intercloud operations or the ability to operate all public clouds using a “single pane of glass.” This means having an operational abstraction layer that runs over all public clouds, private clouds (if still around), and existing traditional systems (if possible), as well.