artner estimates that by 2022, 75% of enterprise customers using cloud infrastructure as a service will adopt a deliberate multi-cloud strategy, compared to 49% in 2017. This is a fast growing trend, showing little sign of slowing down as companies continue to “mix and match” the services provided by the big four hyperscalers: AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and Alibaba. However, Gartner’s use of the term “deliberate” multicloud strategy is revealing, as it implies that there is an accidental or even fortuitous trade-off.
Infrastructures evolve and expand organically, depending on the need for short-term solutions and the challenges posed by managing ever-increasing volumes of data. The pandemic highlighted this fact in a big way. According to Veeam’s 2021 Data Protection Report, 53% of CXOs said the need to maintain operations during quarantine had slowed down their strategic digital transformation initiatives. It is now that we will see a change as companies move past the crisis phase of their response to COVID-19 and begin to see how the infrastructure and digital skills they acquired out of necessity in the short term can evolve towards a coherent vision in the long term. .
There is no reason the same should not be the case when it comes to multi-cloud. Flexera’s 2021 State of the Cloud report revealed that 92% of companies have a multi-cloud strategy. The question I would ask is: How many have a deliberate multi-cloud strategy? While many companies weighed the pros and cons of working with each vendor and implemented a cloud data management strategy to ensure they can manage and protect data on various public cloud platforms. Not to be ignored that a significant number have likely been found working with multiple cloud providers, based on factors such as the platforms their partners use, through mergers and acquisitions, or in an attempt to contain the cost spiral. .
Send out the digital health inspectors
Multi-cloud poses a number of challenges in terms of cloud security, skills, and cost optimization that companies should be aware of before investing heavily in this strategy. Focusing on security first, cybersecurity vulnerabilities are often due to low levels of digital hygiene, a problem that is compounded by using multiple cloud providers. In an ideal world, all companies would have the digital hygiene necessary to successfully manage a multi-cloud environment, taking advantage of scalability and the various capabilities this can bring. But in the real world, many companies still face the challenge of shadow IT and employees requiring more extensive training when it comes to handling data responsibly:
This brings us to skills, because in addition to employees needing training to improve their digital health and knowledge, multi-cloud also creates a skills gap, on a more technical level, within the IT team itself. Finding talented and experienced IT staff and system administrators is hard enough. Now you have to find someone who knows not one, but two or three different cloud platforms well. Compatibility and interoperability between these platforms is almost non-existent. They are written with different codes, programming languages, and standards. Simply put, they are made from different bricks. Therefore, It is important that organizations looking to leverage a multi-cloud strategy have technical knowledge on all the platforms they plan to use. This is essential not only to manage and protect data in multiple public clouds, but also to optimize the costs of this strategy.
The public cloud opens up exciting opportunities for organizations looking to consume software as a service (SaaS) and manage the growing volumes of data that have challenged IT departments around the world. However, IT teams feel that the public cloud has not fully delivered on the promise of being profitable. In fact, for many, the costs of the cloud are skyrocketing. Therefore, it is logical to think that if it is difficult to contain the costs of using a public cloud, it will not be easier to contain the costs of using several clouds. This is where a cohesive cloud data management strategy comes into play. Companies need to be honest with themselves and ask themselves if they have adopted an intentional multi-cloud strategy, or if it just happened. If it is the latter,
Companies that deliberately want to create a multi-cloud strategy must first ensure that their digital cleansing standards – including cybersecurity protocols, tracking, and clarity of roles and responsibilities – are adequate. This is critical to leveraging the real benefits of the cloud, while managing potential risks in terms of security and cost containment.