Enterprises increasingly look to cloud to accelerate innovation processes, bring products to market faster, construct resilient supply chains, and connect directly with customers and partners. In a study conducted by CIO Magazine, it indicated that CIOs and CISOs believe they will be under increasing board pressure to create value for the organization. Once viewed as builders and protectors of infrastructure, CIOs and CISOs now face an added level of responsibility as the engines of innovation.
The reality is that most enterprises face serious challenges that, if not proactively managed, can greatly diminish the benefits of a multi-cloud infrastructure. It’s important for everyone driving a multi-cloud strategy—including CTOs, CIOs, CISOs, and departmental leaders making cloud app choices—to identify the causes and symptoms of common implementation failures and continuously work to keep the organization on a path to cloud success.
The benefits of multi-cloud
- Optimal Environments: Giving your enterprise the flexibility of a multi-cloud approach lets you choose the best cloud hosting provider for each workload or application in your organization
- Competitive Pricing: Competition in the past few years has expanded greatly. A well-designed multi-cloud strategy lets you shop for the best price.
- Operational Resilience: A strong multi-cloud strategy can protect critical business applications and data with redundant backup and recovery capabilities. A multi-cloud strategy gives you room to scale your storage and shop for the best balance of speed, visibility and pricing.
- Network Performance: A multi-cloud approach lets you create high-speed, low-latency infrastructures that integrate economically with your legacy systems.
- No Vendor Lock-In: Creating a multi-cloud infrastructure gives you negotiating power. A strong strategy will make use of the ample competition in this market.
Four keys to a functional and effective multi-cloud implementation
- Match workloads and applications to the best provider
- Create and follow a blueprint
- Develop cost management processes
- Ensure data protection and privacy
Regardless of how you get there, a multi-cloud infrastructure is the best path forward for almost any organization—and certainly for larger enterprises. Of course, there are challenges, which are mostly related to managing sprawl and getting costs and security in order. But the benefits almost always outweigh the disadvantages.
The complexity of your migration to a multi cloud should be most in the planning stages. In fact, if you’re on a good path, planning will take longer than deployment. When developing an effective multi-cloud management plan, one of the first steps is to understand not only the complexity of the infrastructure, but also the reasons for its evolution. This is the origin of most multi-cloud infrastructures and it gives rise to a sprawling collection of computing platforms, databases, data storage systems, access control systems, digital security tools, and governance systems.
Building a diverse multi-cloud strategy
One way to address the cost and complexity issue is to insist that your various teams and departments consolidate on a single public cloud offering, thereby reducing the number of tools and systems across your infrastructure.
As an alternate strategy, you can give your various department teams the freedom to choose the cloud apps and platforms that work best for them and commit to a diverse multi-cloud. Then, manage this diverse digital ecosystem by creating an abstraction layer or agnostic platform control solution that sits atop of your infrastructure and eliminates the need to interact with all the native system interfaces.
Deploying an effective abstraction layer will also give you the ability to centrally monitor productivity and utilization for each cloud app. On a single pane of glass, you should be able to monitor usage of all the apps and storage space you’re buying. Also, if you deploy it properly, you can integrate older on-prem apps and storage and achieve a 360-degree view of your infrastructure.
Whether you buy a security tool or choose a security-as-a-service solution, you can apply the same principles of the previously mentioned abstraction layer and create a unified approach to enterprise security. For both the abstraction layer controls and the infrastructure-wide security strategy, you’ll need to deploy a data platform that supports your multi-cloud reality. The right platform will offer some key attributes and features, such as the ability to view an increasingly complex infrastructure from a single dashboard, rather than jumping from one native vendor-specific system to another.
Three strategies to avoid vendor lock-in improve cloud efficiency
How do you avoid the costly problem of vendor lock-in?
How do you keep moving fast, yet protect your enterprise and your teams from having their cloud efficiency and agility limited? Here are three strategies worth considering:
- Be intentional about a multi-cloud strategy
- Negotiate favorable terminations
- Consider hybrid cloud options
Securing an expanding threat surface
Here are some ideas for safeguarding your evolving multi-cloud infrastructure:
- Know your cloud infrastructure
- Protect apps and data
- Choose and configure the right security tools
- Deploy zero trust practices
Keeping cloud costs from getting out of control
- Resolve unused or unattached resources
- Adjust for peaks and valleys
- Prepay for capacity
- Make strategic tier decisions
- Build an understanding of cloud costs