Building a Multi-cloud Strategy with Confidence

Cloud computing has exploded in popularity during the last decade. What started as a hi-tech concept has evolved into a complex computing ecosystem that is quickly becoming the de facto platform for enterprise IT.

The rise of cloud computing

Cloud revenue continues to grow at a rapid pace. According to Gartner, global cloud revenues will reach $474 billion in 2022, experiencing a significant increase over the $313 billion forecast for 2020 [1].  

The global cloud services market is forecasted to rake in a 17.5% overall industry growth rate, as the public cloud sector alone generated a whopping US$130 billion in revenue [2]. The unique properties of cloud infrastructures provide several highly sought-after technical and business benefits. The primary merit of its adoption is that it offers scalable enterprise IT at a rapid pace. Speed is a prerequisite for attaining a competitive advantage because it equates to efficiency. In cloud computing, the models allow automatic scaling or de-scaling of computers, storage, and network bandwidth to handle high data quantities efficiently, providing the necessary speed for a firm to introduce new goods and establish market competitiveness quickly. 

Cloud models result in "shadow IT,'' in which the necessity for IT personnel is decreased, and employees can efficiently utilize business apps. As a result, firms in practically every industry, regardless of their size, scale, or strategic goals, can benefit from the cloud. Indeed, those who employ cloud infrastructures can execute more quickly and, in turn, provide more value to their clients. Agile software development teams can use cloud infrastructure to spin up new virtual machine prototypes and automate testing and deployment at speed.

Businesses produce numerous types of data and utilize multiple applications daily. However, the majority of cloud vendors specialize in only a single area. Thus companies can adopt multi-cloud approaches to get the agility and flexibility they need.

Up your data game with a multi-cloud strategy

Multi-cloud typically means using more than one of the big three cloud providers (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud) and other, smaller, public or private providers. The end goal is to have the providers play to their strengths.  

The terms "multi-cloud" and "hybrid cloud" are frequently mistaken as meaning the same. On the one hand, multi-cloud can be considered a technique for increasing efficiency by combining public and private clouds from several cloud vendors. This method is chosen by businesses to address unique technological or business objectives. Hybrid cloud infrastructure, on the other hand, is made up of on-premises servers, private clouds, and public clouds.

Businesses can receive a wide range of benefits when it comes to multi-cloud strategies. To begin with, global enterprises can expand their services more conveniently. Utilizing various cloud providers to buy servers in regions adjacent to their clients' guarantees that all clients have an equally fast and stable connection.

The underlying benefit of multi-cloud to the organization is that it avoids vendor lock-in, which causes performance issues, limited options, and needless expenses when using only one cloud vendor. Organizations have more freedom to maximize performance, control prices, and harness the finest cloud technologies available if they opt for the multi-cloud strategy.

The potential merits to reap

  • Avoid vendor lock-in: Because of the vendor's local constraints, employing a single vendor's cloud services means risking data loss or service outage. Because transferring the entire infrastructure from one cloud to another is burdensome, companies may become reliant and get themselves locked in a single cloud environment. Furthermore, today's fast-paced landscape requires great agility and flexibility to leverage different technologies at speed. Naturally, enterprise leaders must decide whether to disaggregate or aggregate their services.
  • Increase flexibility: Organizations can reap higher productivity by utilizing the top resources from various cloud vendors. One provider could handle massive data transfers efficiently, while the other could excel at deep learning. In general, businesses can flexibly choose cloud services that work best for their budget, as well as needs for performance, security, and compliance.
  • Drive innovation: By automating the multi-cloud management process, businesses will benefit from better workload coordination and hybrid workflows while gaining a higher ability to incorporate DevOps processes to advance the company's digital infrastructure. This automation assures efficient data management and orchestration across the company's cloud environment, boosting deployment capabilities and allowing it to employ a broader range of novel features.
  • Improve the infrastructure's efficiency: Organizations can obtain maximum infrastructure and bandwidth performance by combining high-speed resources from multiple places. Selecting multiple IaaS providers across various regions also allows enterprises to optimize the customer experience by giving them the ultimate freedom to tailor and future-proof their technology infrastructure, deployment and management models.

Challenges to address with a multi-cloud strategy

While there are numerous advantages to implementing a multi-cloud strategy, certain impediments need to be addressed.

  • Data protection & privacy: While program portability appears technically feasible, data portability causes more problems for users. Customers are encouraged to upload data to the cloud, but when it is about to leave, they are charged a "data tax." This is frequently costly. Another issue is data architecture or the distribution and synchronization of data utilized by different applications in different cloud environments. With the increased complexity of many clouds and the potential requirement to replicate data across various domains, firms will need to invest more time and money to keep it under control (and ensure transparency).
  • Cost management: A multi-cloud strategy produces resource sprawl as a side effect. If businesses fail to keep track of the cloud inventory, they can end up with neglected and unused cloud resources, which drives up the cloud bill. Because cost optimization is one of the major foundations of a well-architected framework for all clouds, all cloud platforms have native cost-optimization and budgeting capabilities. However, combining all of the cloud inventories to enable broad visibility into the company's cloud consumption is more critical in multi-cloud. Often, they'll need to rely on third-party solutions that specialize in providing this level of visibility. It's worth noting that a reactive strategy to cost reduction is not particularly effective. Instead, firms must be proactive in monitoring operations with higher cost implications.
  • Complex skills requirement: None of this matters if the organization lacks the requisite capabilities to manage a cloud – multi-cloud or hybrid – environment. According to IBM's 2019 The Right App On The Right Cloud report, companies struggle to locate individuals with capabilities in infrastructure engineering, development platform operations, coding, and DevOps. Finding personnel with the necessary cloud-native development and operational capabilities is the most challenging task. This lack of expertise is preventing businesses from innovating across numerous cloud platforms.

With a multi-cloud strategy, businesses can reap the benefits of the most remarkable features of each cloud. However, this presents its own set of difficulties and issues. That is why, especially for the non-negotiable aspects of security and compliance, organizations must examine and select the ones with the most valuable capabilities.

 

References:

[1]https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2021-11-10-gartner-says-cloud-will-be-the-centerpiece-of-new-digital-experiences

[2] https://www.epcgroup.net/top-50-cloud-computing-statistics-and-trends-for-2022/

[3] https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/2QY0RXRX

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