Signs your business needs to adopt a multi-cloud strategy

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Today, organisations no longer need to choose between public, private or hybrid clouds. Multi-cloud adoption is tremendously popular in the industry and has been implemented across many businesses.

According to industry estimates, some companies have reported to using an average of eight clouds to meet the varying needs of the workplace. These can include minimising risk, downtime, shadow IT, and fulfilling the needs of business units, departments or teams. The strengths of one cloud might address a specific task better than another to best meet the overall demands of partners and customers.

Although multi-cloud adoption is quickly growing, not all organisations have embraced this strategy. This article highlights the signs when a business should adopt a multi-cloud strategy to leverage the benefits of different clouds.

Sign 1 – Best-in-class services from cloud service providers:  The same way that one size doesn’t fit all, one cloud doesn’t fit all. Organisations like to go for the best-in-class technologies from different Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) to create optimal solutions for their requirements. A single cloud service provider is not able to fulfill all the functionalities that a client looks for. It is always a permutation and combination of different CSPs that gives the client their final solution. A multi-cloud strategy helps in evaluating different CSPs capabilities, functionalities and honing in on the right solution.

Sign 2 – High Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) benefits:  The new mantra today includes the notion that an organisation can slash expenses while still improving their agility, competitive advantage and profitability through the reduction of capital expense. Studies have been conducted for a decade now on the cloud’s TCO benefits. Results showed that overall TCO for a cloud-based integrated solution suite is significantly lower than a comparable on-premise solution. They also concluded the cost advantage of cloud computing slowly tapers off with an increase in the number of users. 

A multi-cloud model is believed to offer higher TCO benefits than traditional cloud based integrated solution suites, as each provider offers individual computing and storage options at different prices. Cost variance of services across multiple providers not only helps the buyer avoid vendor lock-in but also helps utilise the best services to meet their technical and business requirements at the most suitable costs.

For adoption of a multi-cloud strategy, performance analysis of workloads for each of the clouds needs to be done independently. TCO for compute and storage options meeting the workload performances must be identified which will enable businesses to realise higher TCO benefits.

Sign 3 – Global Compliance and Regulatory needs: Different cloud service providers have their own compliance and data protection capabilities, which organisations that are adopting them need to adhere to. Organisations with global clientele have varied compliance and data security needs. Relying on a single cloud service provider with specific compliance policies and data protection capabilities pose a challenge to their business.

When it comes to data protection and associated capabilities, businesses operating in multiple geographies will have compliance requirements based on their geography of operation. In this case, a single-cloud model becomes unmanageable. Multi-cloud strategy in such an environment allows the business to match each set of compliance requirements with the right cloud service and avoid any breach of regulatory framework.

Sign 4 – Business Continuity & Planning:  Business continuity and planning is believed to be taking a new trajectory as multi-cloud strategy gains prominence. By adopting a multi-cloud model, organisations will be able to place their critical applications that are suitably designed for them independent of the underlying infrastructure. This will not only reduce the lock-in, but also create the interoperability that is required for fast migration of workloads. In addition, a multi-cloud model also offers an enhanced level of protection against downtime periods as it provides the option to build in redundancy across more than one proprietary cloud resource. Looking at the current scenario, business continuity and planning is a sign to move from one proprietary cloud resource to multi-cloud, as it combines the best of breed technologies, cloud products and processes to offer data storage and disaster recovery solutions.

Sign 5 – Leverage legacy investments in a datacentre/hosted hardware: Adoption of cloud computing allows businesses to take maximum advantage of hosted hardware available from cloud service providers. With a wide number of options available from cloud service providers on a pay as you go model, a multi-cloud environment supports business requirements, while ensuring the best possible performance at an optimal price.

Moreover, it is advisable for startups and small medium businesses to opt for hosted hardware, so they can invest their efforts, time and costs on core business processes rather than fixing server downtimes.

From single cloud resource to multi-cloud, time to realise!

There is absolutely no doubt that adopting a multi-cloud strategy is becoming the future of cloud computing. However, organisations have to conduct extensive background work and research before coming to a conclusion on implementing this approach. While defining your next cloud strategy, assess your IT needs, resources and requirements, and you will easily identify one or more signs to adopt a multi-cloud strategy.

Nitin Tyagi is the Vice President of Enterprise Solutions for Cambridge Technology