The pandemic has stepped up the momentum on multi-cloud adoption but without a technique, enterprises will lose the chance to harness its potential for innovation.
Cloud is that the new normal for enterprise IT within the new normal. The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled even the fence-sitters to quickly adopt the cloud as most aspects of companies and operations and new ways of working, schooling, and shopping are now conducted online. For many, there has been little choice but to shift workloads to cloud driven by the necessity for speed, responsiveness to customer needs, and scale to survive disruption. because the foundation technology for digital transformation, the cloud is proving to be vital for enterprises to remain within the game.
As cloud adoption accelerates, multi-cloud architectures are presumably to dominate the post-pandemic scenario. The trend to multi-cloud—that is, the utilization of two or more cloud services from two or more providers—is not new.
Gartner had predicted in 2019 that by 2021, over 75% of midsize and enormous organizations will have adopted a multi-cloud or hybrid IT strategy.
And during a Gartner survey of public cloud users an equivalent year 81% of respondents said they were working with two or more providers. IDC too had concluded that 2021 would be the year of the multi-cloud which by 2022, quite 90 percent of enterprises worldwide will believe a mixture of on-premises or dedicated private clouds, multiple public clouds, and legacy platforms to satisfy their infrastructure needs.
Hybrid vs Multicloud
First, let’s take a step backward and differentiate between hybrid and multi-cloud. Both involve personal and public clouds. There are varying definitions out there within the market. However, simply put, a hybrid cloud architecture may be a subset of multi-cloud and involves a mixture of personal cloud (on-premise) and public cloud with the likelihood of moving data between them. A multi-cloud model may be a mixture of clouds ( private, public, and on-premise) from different cloud providers and SaaS providers where there’s no exchange or integration of knowledge between the various cloud environments.
In a hybrid cloud, for instance, an enterprise can perform a selected task using resources from two separate private clouds or during a mixture of private and public clouds. This model could work for a business with an on-premise data center that suddenly must expand and manage resources during a private cloud and requires to maneuver back to on-premise when the business need changes. A hybrid cloud model is multi-cloud but not the opposite way around, although a multi-cloud environment could get hybridized.
A multi-cloud model solely indicates a model with multiple clouds. These might be on-premises data centers, private clouds, and public clouds like AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform™, and SaaS applications.
In a sense, most organizations are already working with multi-cloud models as they operate on-premise DCs, leverage Amazon AWS for front-end applications, manage an application on Microsoft, or use a SaaS application and manage ERP on SAP. The business justification and security concerns don’t allow sharing of knowledge between the clouds.
The rising multi-cloud trend
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the recognition of multi-cloud was driven by containers and orchestration with Kubernetes—which may be a portable, extensible, open-source platform for managing containerized workloads.
Cloud-native technologies like containers and Kubernetes reduce complexity and make it possible to simply run and manage equivalent applications consistently in any environment. Other cloud-native technologies like microservices, immutable infrastructure, and declarative APIs empower organizations to create and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments like public, private, and hybrid clouds say the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. These technologies alongside AI and machine learning are defining the fashionable world of software development and assist you in fully exploit the potential of the cloud.
Against this backdrop of technology changes and therefore the pandemic-induced switch to digitalization, it’s time to seem beyond the traditional reasons for adopting multi-cloud. While the advantages of mitigating risk, optimizing costs, and enabling scalability are the most drivers, enterprises must see opportunities for innovation with multi-cloud.
View multi-cloud with an innovation lens
The flexibility that multi-cloud enables in using private and public cloud for varying needs of a business is additionally one among its biggest attractions. A multi-cloud setup means businesses can choose the cloud service that’s best suited to their needs and alter the provider or the architecture when the business need evolves.
In other words, multi-cloud enables innovation. The pandemic imperatives have already revealed that multi-cloud isn’t only about cost optimization or scalability, it’s about speed. How briskly are you able to bring new features to plug, how quickly are you able to answer unprecedented fluctuations in demand, how does one manage business continuity, create new customer experiences? the solution lies in innovation. Only cloud-enabled organizations or the elasticity of cloud-native approaches (such as microservices) can help you to innovate at speed.
As AI, edge technology, 5G, and IoT evolve rapidly, transforming industries and driving new data-based business models, the necessity for cloud will keep rising. But to understand the potential for innovation in multi-cloud, enterprises must have a well-considered strategy aligned to future readiness and possibly designed to urge the simplest out of the cloud with cloud-native solutions.
Multicloud strategy: Minimize complexity and maximize innovation
Moving to multi-cloud is challenging and sophisticated and may rapidly get to be an operational cost burden if not managed properly. Multicloud needs a strategy. But because the pandemic forced an unprecedented rate of technology spends, multi-cloud adoption only exacerbated the tendency of enterprise silos to easily adopt different clouds for various reasons, creating wasteful overlaps. Multicloud, for many, was just something that happened—randomly over a period of your time and hurriedly during the pandemic. And now they struggle with operating expenses and usage.
A multi-cloud strategy must therefore specialize in corporate governance to stay costs within the IT budget. Governance is all the more important because identifying who bought what and used what proportion of the cloud is often an exercise in futility in very large organizations. The IT c-suite must clearly define cost governance and price optimization and set guidelines on how these are going to be practiced.
Security and privacy are the opposite main components of a multi-cloud strategy. Security has always been a serious concern for enterprises, often deterring them from moving to the cloud. During a multi-cloud provider environment, universal compliance must be ensured and extra securities policies may have to be built—for which you would like complete visibility to all or any that’s happening in each cloud and at the sting.
The lack of skilled resources may be a common roadblock experienced by many enterprises on their multi-cloud journey. Large teams are needed to manage and monitor 24/7. Both the pre and post-migration support needs are often beyond the scope of most organization’s budgets and capabilities. they’re going to got to find out what cloud-native skills they’re going to got to invest in or look to increase their teams externally.
Given that the company governance, security, operations, and privacy needs are critical to managing and getting the simplest business value out of multi-cloud environments, enterprises should do two things—design a multi-cloud strategy that will enable their IT spend to feature business value.
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