Right now, there are many companies overwhelmed by the evolving nature of the cloud, and for good reason – organizations don’t want to make a costly misstep.
Perhaps your company is feeling the pinch of this evolving scenario, too:
- Your company has made investments to grow its enterprise cloud strategy.
- Your team has developed needed technical expertise in a chosen cloud platform such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud.
- But now the conversation is quickly shifting.
- The message making its rounds is that a multicloud experience is the new way forward.
- Your company’s cloud commitment is part of a broader digital transformation – and a commitment to accelerate forward and not fall behind.
Where do you and your company go from here?
The tech research firm Gartner projected in 2021 that more than $100 billion in cloud revenue will be generated in the next few years alone, and will grow at a rate of 25% per year. It’s not surprising that this kind of hype leads to a certain level of hysteria – and it can be challenging for organizations to decide who or what to believe.
Let’s clarify and shed some light on the different facets of multicloud.
What is multicloud?
Multicloud is exactly what it sounds like – leveraging more than one cloud ecosystem for your production-grade workloads. This means you don’t have to take an either/or stance among providers and their specific applications, but instead deploy a “both/and approach” for clearly defined purposes. Multicloud is often positioned as the next level of cloud maturity, but before jumping in, it’s important to understand if it’s right or necessary for your enterprise and how it fits into your overall digital strategy.
Start with why
Maturity – when it comes to enterprise cloud solutions –specifically speaks to the maturity of the digital transformation strategy of the organization. That means it’s possible for a relatively young startup that is “born digital” to be mature and ready for multicloud solutions ahead of a legacy company whose digital strategy is still developing, simply based on its workloads. Outside of conflated hype, it is the digital strategy – and its implementation and ongoing workload needs – that must be the driver in determining if multicloud is the right approach.
Weighing the many considerations of multicloud
Every organization will have its own reasons for either maintaining a single cloud or taking on a multicloud approach. Weighing the benefits and tradeoffs becomes critical to understanding what type of multicloud strategy will work best for your organization. Consider the following:
- Does the workload need to be portable? This affords the enterprise to implement workloads anywhere and across more than one cloud. This not only affords greater workload agility, but also gives companies the desired flexibility in negotiating with cloud providers. The search for best-of-breed solutions, incentives or discounts is ongoing and these important leverage points help you create the right ecosystem before locking in or getting stuck with a provider that can’t fully meet your current or anticipated needs.
- Do you need segmented workstreams? This approach ensures that different types of workloads are intentionally deployed to and managed separately in different clouds. It may be that some workload features need a more robust set of tools than others. For example, Google Cloud might prove desirable for its data lake and analytics platform, but AWS may be preferred for its strong IoT capabilities. Segmenting allows the organization to select the options that works best for address specific needs.
Other types of multicloud strategies also exist beyond portable and segmented, each with their own nuances and benefits. For example, an arbitrary multicloud might be advantageous for companies acquiring other business; simply sticking with their existing clouds until a clearer way forward can be determined may be necessary. A choice multicloud can present business units with a level of choice/autonomy within the large, mature enterprise by providing a clear decision matrix. Finally, use of multiple cloud platforms in parallel can offer universal level of application capability while maintaining separate workstreams.
Understanding what will work best for your company requires the due diligence to align these expanding cloud capabilities with business realities.
Real costs of going “multi”
Setup costs are real, but understanding what can and cannot be achieved in any cloud environment can make a difference in terms of costs and efficiencies. Your team likely has a deep relationship with its current cloud provider and knows its capabilities, strengths and weaknesses to run workstreams efficiently. Introducing multicloud solutions may spread the existing team thin while asking them to do and know more in order to make the right decisions. The idea of diversification might appear to offer cost savings and efficiencies, but it also has inherent costs to expand or bring the team up to speed. The goal is to ensure multicloud isn’t just a multiplier of work and costs without the achieving desired outcomes that are being promised.
Successful strategies drive the trends
Multicloud is a viable path through to the ever-changing cloud ecosystem as we know it today. But determining if this extension is viable for your business is critical.
If you already have a digital strategy in place, lean in on it and proceed with confidence while also asking the hard questions about multicloud and its viability to your business.
While trends enlighten a view of the future, well-executed strategies determine it. Keep in mind that any trend that doesn’t align with your sound business strategy or add value isn’t a trend – is a distraction.
Need help developing the digital strategy or navigating the way forward in this complex cloud environment? Reach out and allow us to provide value-added clarity.