Harnessing the Power of a Multicloud Strategy
The speed at which businesses operate has never been more intense. Today’s enterprises need to be able to quickly pivot to adapt to market changes and deliver business-enabling solutions. To achieve this agility, many companies have turned to the cloud. This was particularly true during COVID-19 as organizations increasingly leveraged cloud services to support their distributed workforces.
To take the benefits of cloud services to the next level, many businesses—93% according to one study—are adopting a multicloud architecture. A multicloud strategy goes beyond the agility of a single cloud environment, giving businesses access to a broader range of services and locations which promotes operational efficiency, controls costs, strengthens security and resilience, and drives performance and business outcomes..
A multicloud strategy is clearly on the minds of many businesses. According to Gartner, multicloud was the top “conversation driver” in 2018-2019, and retained the top slot in its 2019-2020 research.
Regardless of what combination of clouds a business utilizes—public or private—a multicloud strategy can deliver tremendous value.
Alignment with Business Objectives
A multicloud strategy allows businesses to leverage the cloud service provider (CSP) with the environment or services that best meet their specific needs. By aligning their cloud strategies with their business objectives, companies can purposefully choose which clouds support specific applications and data, or align with a CSP for specific services.
Utilizing multiple clouds allows businesses to place workloads where they work best, while considering specific performance, security and compliance requirements. These needs can help decipher between putting workloads in a public or private cloud. Additionally, the leading CSPs, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, have their own services and core competencies. For example, many businesses use Azure for access to Office 365. The use of multiple CSPs to gain access to core services is growing as more than half of businesses in one study reported utilizing more than one of the three major CSPs.
A multicloud strategy can also introduce geographic diversity to enhance performance. By placing data and applications in clouds near concentrations of users—whether internal teams, customer or partners—businesses can minimize latency for improved delivery and download speeds. This also allows businesses to assess the required performance levels and acceptable latency for various workloads to better balance performance and cost. This geo-diversity also offers an opportunity to establish a disaster recovery (DR) solution to minimize downtime and strengthen resiliency.
Businesses can also quickly and easily scale multicloud storage, compute and connectivity based on demand. This is especially beneficial for development teams as it allows them to quickly configure and deploy large-scale DevOps sandboxes with unlimited resources to accelerate development. This elastic compute allows businesses to quickly test a product and then scale capacity back down when testing is complete to better manage costs.
No Vendor Lock-in
Vendor lock-in is a concern for many businesses as it limits their ability to negotiate on costs, introduce additional services and adapt to changing expectations. With a single cloud deployment, businesses are limited to only the services their vendor supplies. A single cloud also limits a business’ ability to negotiate for better pricing. With a multicloud solution, businesses can compare costs and services across providers, choosing the services that best address needs, and then negotiating for discounts and better rates. Integrating multiple clouds also helps businesses better manage usage and cost by only paying for the space and connectivity they need. It can also minimize potentially hefty egress charges.
With any IT deployment, security and availability are clear priorities. A multicloud architecture can help businesses architect a solution that minimizes risk while being mindful of budget. By placing sensitive data in a private cloud and other data in a more cost-conscious public cloud, businesses can better control risk and expenses. A multicloud strategy can also help establish a DR solution to minimize downtime and data loss by allowing a business to shift its service to another cloud during a failure or service disruption.
While multicloud architectures provide many benefits, building a multicloud strategy and effectively connecting these solutions can be challenging. In our follow-up blog, Addressing the Challenges of Multicloud Connectivity, we address the complexities of connecting a diverse cloud infrastructure and how to promote a dynamic multicloud ecosystem.