Multi cloud is a reality. Even though not getting locked in and portability advantage are drivers for multi cloud, we see “picking the right cloud services from any provider to meet the application needs” as one of the main reasons for the adoption. The trend is driven by the varied strengths of cloud providers based on the higher order services they offer and the ability to right size the infrastructure resources.
In enterprises, we are seeing the following trends:
- Gone are the days where the platform and software choices are pushed top down. Developers want to retain the leverage to pick the right cloud services they need for their applications than sticking to one cloud provider picked by the IT decision makers. This trend is evident from the fact that some of the high profile customers who went “all in” with one cloud providers eventually start using other providers
- Different teams pick different cloud providers based on their needs and this leads to multi cloud proliferation inside the enterprises. Mergers and acquisitions will further push organizations towards this path
- Cost advantages, driven by the competitive pressure, make multi cloud an attractive option for CIOs and CFOs
Considerations for your multi cloud strategy
As modern enterprise decision makers embrace on their multi cloud strategy, they need to clearly understand the pros and cons of using multi cloud and do it right. In this post, we will highlight some of the key considerations for a right strategy.
- Multi cloud doesn’t mean settling for the lowest common set of features. If your strategy for using multiple cloud providers includes compromises on the features available for developers, it will fail or lead to the proliferation of shadow IT where developers will consume the services directly from the cloud providers. It is important that you find an orchestration platform that supports all the native features of cloud services across multiple cloud providers or let your developers use the cloud providers interface and wrap a security and governance layer around it
- Cost management is a critical component of your multi cloud strategy. As cloud providers change prices due to competitive pressures, there is an opportunity for cost optimization. You need a good cost management layer to provide the visibility and forecasting across multiple providers. Cost management layer is also important for reducing resource wastage. If you had ever paid for unused VMs in a single provider, you will understand the magnitude of this problem across providers
- Security is much more fluid and spans multiple cloud providers. Using cloud providers access controls is sub optimal. Have a holistic plan for security that can span multiple providers without creating bottlenecks for service consumption. Data security is more challenging in the multi cloud context
- Multi cloud governance is very critical. Ensure that your organization uses a robust governance layer that takes care of the organizations internal as well as regulatory needs without adding bottleneck to the consumption of services. Any constraints added in the name of implementing governance will lead to shadow IT
Multi cloud is hard but it is going to be the way of life for most modern enterprises. Even if you decide to go with a single cloud provider now, you will see bottoms up pressure for multi cloud adoption down the lane. A wise strategy is to understand the multi cloud landscape and develop a strategy that empowers your developers without compromising on your security and governance needs.