The cloud industry is moving at lightning speed, with enterprise adoption of multi-cloud becoming increasingly mainstream due to the need for faster digital transformation. Gartner predicts that 90% of organisations will adopt hybrid infrastructure management capabilities by 2020.
There are, of course, many benefits to deploying a multi-cloud strategy, including mitigating the risk of disaster through a single point of failure, business agility and cost saving. Having said this, multi-cloud should not be used as a silver bullet to save on costs – cloud pricings fluctuate on a daily basis between vendors. For me, the main benefit of using multi-cloud is agility – IT managers are able to get the best possible cost whilst also avoiding vendor lock-in.
Today, many organisations employ at least three cloud providers in order to have to the agility to move their workloads around as and when they please. In fact, a 2018/2019 survey by Pierre Audoin Consultants found that organisations now typically run services from up to nine cloud providers.
This approach can certainly pay off, if done correctly. Unfortunately, all too often businesses succumb to common pitfalls. In a multi-cloud environment, challenges of scale and complexity only increase. Below, I’ve demystified the process so you can get the most out of a multi-cloud strategy for your business.
Let’s get up on cloud nine
There are several steps that organisations should undertake when it comes to taking on multi-cloud.
Firstly, employing a cloud management solution that enables your business to have full visibility of your environment and direct line of sight into costs. Quite often multi-cloud strategies fall at this first hurdle and don’t select a partner with the right credentials, leading to disappointment later on as cost spikes unexpectedly and teams struggle for data on things like cloud usage, performance and security.
The second step is to embrace automation. Why spend time doing manual work when there’s a simpler, more efficient way? The right platform will uncover efficiencies by automating certain business processes as well as offering the option of granularly detailing your bill – identifying areas of highest spend and enabling lights on/lights off policies.
Lastly, don’t underestimate the benefit of having an extra set of eyes and the input of seasoned cloud experts. A third party which can be critical about your environment, but who ultimately has your back and is there to save you time (and money).
Still not convinced?
There are numerous issues that can arise when an organisation lacks visibility over its multi-cloud infrastructure. One of the most frequent is ‘bill shock’ – that nasty surprise on receiving your monthly cloud bill.
Similarly to receiving an unexpected mobile phone bill after going travelling, a company can be easily confronted with out of control expenses with little justification from the provider as to why.
This then creates a real-life domino effect. Uncovering the root cause eats up time and resources, when an automation platform would have spared everyone the pain. A good cloud management provider should tidy up your infrastructure in a matter of hours and can then work to put ongoing solutions in place to prevent further headaches in the future.
The forecast is bright
Looking to the future, we will likely see customers continue to have multi-cloud and hybrid environments, and a corresponding urgency for a platform which can support their business needs and optimise their infrastructure. Companies no longer debate the benefits of cloud computing – they’re all in on the cloud, and have realised that using multiple public clouds, be it AWS or Azure or Google, offers added gains with respect to flexibility and agility.
In today’s world, being able to manage your cloud environments however and wherever you want should be the default, not a ‘nice to have’.
We will continue to see a rapid shift to hybrid and public cloud from major industry players. Business leaders will increasingly need to deploy tools that can not only analyse the whole IT infrastructure on an ongoing basis, but can also provide the best services without making them lift a finger.
With the right devices in place, organisations can address this need for agility and flexibility through advocating a multi-cloud approach, one that truly allows businesses to accelerate their digital transformation.
Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their experiences and use-cases? Attend the Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.