The future of IT is the cloud – no one can seriously dispute this statement. In practice, multi-cloud approaches are proving particularly promising, with companies combining cloud platforms and services from different providers. This can be several public clouds or several private clouds, but a combination of public and private clouds is also possible.
Leverage the strengths of multi-cloud architectures
Despite the undisputed advantages of cloud computing, many companies still find it difficult to successfully make the transition to the cloud. This blog post explores why companies should go multi-cloud and how they can develop and successfully implement a multi-cloud strategy.
What are the benefits of multi-cloud?
There are a number of reasons for companies to opt for a multi-cloud environment. The parallel use of several cloud providers can support the development of new business areas and offerings. Multi-cloud therefore not only has a positive impact on IT costs, but also on a company’s performance and innovative strength.
A multi-cloud approach gives companies the opportunity to select from various services (apps, functionalities, services) in the cloud those that best fit their own business model and business processes. This results in company-specific solutions that meet individual requirements in the best possible way.
With a multi-cloud strategy, companies retain full flexibility. They are not confronted with so-called vendor lock-in, where a company is so dependent on the products or services of one provider that switching to another provider is not economically viable.
Potential outages can be absorbed much better in a multi-cloud structure, so that the damage to the company is limited. Companies safeguard their business by being able to maintain the relevant processes. Downtimes are reduced.
Assembling the optimal IT landscape from a pool of cloud providers ensures a cost-optimized operating model. Companies can compare different offerings and choose the option that offers the best compromise between performance and cost.
Data protection & data security
Cloud providers must ensure the protection and security of data in the cloud. The well-known providers have dedicated experts for this topic. Companies benefit from a unified approach to compliance issues.
What aspects should a multi-cloud strategy take into account?
In their multi-cloud strategy, companies define how the multi-cloud is structured and which services it includes. With the right strategic foundation, companies are able to achieve various benefits that can also create added value outside of IT processes. A multi-cloud strategy should target specific topics and set corresponding priorities.
The requirements for the cloud solution(s) and the goals to be achieved must be clearly defined and in line with the overall corporate strategy. An unclear or even missing objective leads to hasty decisions and thus to the implementation of inappropriate cloud solutions.
The IT infrastructure of a company is often built up and expanded over many years, which brings with it a corresponding complexity. For this reason, many companies often make the transition to the cloud gradually, using different providers.
Orchestration of services and providers
When using external services, it is important to maintain an overview at a central level and to prevent individual departments from going it alone. This is the only way to ensure that the IT infrastructure fits the corporate strategy and that no unnecessary costs are incurred.
Data protection & security
Protecting sensitive data from unauthorized access and preventing data loss is also an absolute must in the course of cloud transformation. Most cloud providers offer comprehensive protection measures, so they usually achieve very high security standards.
Nevertheless, a critical examination of security is absolutely necessary. For example, it must be clarified whether the cloud providers in question meet internal compliance requirements. In addition, companies must be aware that the principle of “shared responsibility” applies when using cloud services. This means that the security of applications and data is not the exclusive responsibility of the provider or the company, but that both sides share the necessary security measures.
By migrating a part of their IT infrastructure to the cloud, companies relinquish a certain amount of control. Cloud service downtime, delayed response times or limited cloud availability can cost both revenue and customers. Therefore, even when using cloud solutions, companies should maintain an overview of the status and performance of the applications used at all times. With the help of cloud monitoring, the workflows and processes of the cloud services can be monitored so that problems can be identified and rectified at an early stage.
New (cloud) solutions and technologies require consideration of the extent to which the relationship between people, technology and business needs to be adapted. Employees need to shed old habits and embrace the new applications. A lack of competencies or outdated or inappropriate corporate processes stand in the way of the successful use of multi-cloud. Companies are therefore required to build up new competencies in good time, train employees accordingly and thoroughly prepare the organization for the changeover through the use of cloud services.
Conclusion: the recommended procedure
As a starting point for the path toward multi-cloud, it is recommended to first analyze the existing requirements and look at the status quo of the current IT landscape. In addition, it is important to check what know-how and personnel resources are available in the company to consistently pursue the multi-cloud approach. It is also important to define the time frame for implementation.
For the multi-cloud strategy to be a success, the associated goals must be clearly defined. What added value do companies hope to gain from the cloud compared to their existing infrastructure? On this basis, it is then necessary to select the appropriate architecture and the right solutions with which the goals can be achieved.
During implementation, in addition to the purely technical implementation of the multi-cloud architecture, it is also important to take the employees along on the path of change with the help of comprehensive change management and to convince them of the advantages of the new infrastructure. The acceptance and willingness to learn of the employees are essential so that the working methods and processes can be adapted to the new circumstances. After the go-live, a performance review should be carried out to find out whether the expected goals are actually being achieved.
Good planning in advance of the multi-cloud implementation saves companies a lot of trouble and unnecessary costs. This ensures that the realized IT landscape fits the requirements and that the company benefits from the advantages associated with multi-cloud.