Multicloud for Business: Benefits, Challenges, and Threats
Over the past decade, multicloud computing has gained a lot of popularity in the tech world. As it stands, about 85% of businesses deploy multicloud strategy environments as core providers for their business requirements.
Besides, the multicloud market generates billions of dollars in revenue every year, and there is no sign of the figures going down soon.
According to Statista, the overall spending on multicloud-related IT services is estimated at $1073 billion USD, with the Americas as the highest regional spenders. The RightScale State of the Cloud Report also states that 95 percent of organizations use some cloud services. In companies with over 1000 employees, about 82 percent have a multicloud strategy.
Simultaneously, companies that rely on legacy systems are also considering hybridization strategies to make use of modern technological advancements. But what possible threats and benefits should your business bear in mind when implementing a multicloud strategy?
This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to the concept of multicloud for business, including its relevance, benefits, functions, and pitfalls.
What is Multicloud Computing?
According to IBM, multicloud computing is a unique technology that involves the use of ‘multiple cloud’ services from different cloud providers. As such, it’s an interplay of clouds such as Infrastructure, Platform, or Software as a Service for running businesses.
This technology is a revolutionary strategy utilized by organizations to apply two or more cloud computing platforms as a single and unified system.
In the modern era, multicloud technology comprises public, private, and hybrid clouds or a combination of all three to meet specific business workloads. This technology aims to change business operations dynamics, offering organizations complete agility, security, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility.
Why Is Multicloud Relevant Today?
In the past, companies relied on legacy systems and in-house software for their day-to-day operations. But with the advent of cloud technology that improves the efficiency of operations, legacy systems are declining in popularity.
Moreover, companies like Instagram, Netflix, and Dropbox rely massively on multicloud computing due to safety reasons.
Apart from the reasons mentioned above, here are some other motivations why top-tier tech organizations deploy a multicloud environment.
- A multicloud environment affords you several options to stay flexible and prevent vendor lock-in.
- Multicloud environments help enterprises and businesses to meet their target for risk management, compliance regulations, and governance.
- Utilizing a multicloud strategy provides unlimited access to data and resources online at any time.
As businesses continue to migrate to multi-cloud environments, this opens the entire industry to various threats. Despite current technological advancements to address these loopholes, multicloud management still leaves room for potential risks.
Here the multicloud threats are:
- Managing costs of several environments
- Network security
- Increased possibilities of significant data loss
- Evolution of cybercrimes
- Legal issues (GDPR compliance) depending on location
What Is a Multicloud Strategy?
Multicloud is a relatively new technology that requires a systematic approach to implement. Once you have decided to adopt a multicloud technology for your business, you need to develop a foolproof strategy. This plan should ensure an uninterrupted progression of the company’s daily operations.
Moreover, a multicloud strategy is more complicated than a single cloud provider. Before selecting a preferred approach, carefully analyze your short and long-term business goals and the relation to your cloud infrastructural needs.
The multicloud strategy allows you to utilize the strengths of each provider’s services to improve your business.
For instance, an organization’s marketing team can use AWS (Amazon Web Services), while the HR department can deploy Azure. Moreover, some cloud platforms specialize in massive data distribution and also have integrated machine learning capabilities.
By the way, switching from legacy systems to multicloud strategy requires a higher level of expertise. An MIT study found that 62% of companies struggled to integrate legacy systems into their multi-cloud strategy, while 61% said their primary difficulty was understanding the new technology.
Therefore, you need to be confident that your team has the necessary know-how and experience to handle the cloud providers.
Another vital aspect of this deployment is the management of databases provided by each cloud platform. If you don’t understand this concept, you risk the chances of creating databases that cannot communicate with each other.
Challenges of a Multicloud Strategy
Companies around the world are adopting the multicloud strategy in various aspects of their business. They are banking on the benefits of using this modern cloud solution to improve their operations.
Although multicloud affords various advantages to the business, this technology poses some organizational and operational challenges.
Potential for danger and security flaws
Migrating a company’s workload to the cloud sounds like a promising idea. As it stands, 81% of enterprises struggle with cloud security. Although these performance defects are not common in multicloud technology, they are often critical when they occur. Besides, differences between clouds can also hamper effective data security. Therefore, cloud customers need to observe differences in regulatory compliance according to location.
Identify modernization and security improvements for your productLearn more
Difficulty in transition
Transferring one IT infrastructure to the cloud is a painstaking operation, but moving the entire business operation requires a lot of attention to detail and meticulous planning.
Moreover, interoperability is also a massive challenge since every cloud provider has a unique solution to a specific problem. Some of these vendors often have tools that are incompatible with other services. Consequently, this problem leads to poor data portability when transferring data across multiple clouds.
As a result, your multicloud strategy needs a formidable team in place to monitor, secure, and optimize multiple platforms on the cloud.
Cloud management issue
Only a few IT teams are capable of managing a combined deployment of multicloud solutions. Most resource-constrained shops will always struggle to keep up with updated technology. Even if the team can handle the task, it is difficult to consolidate all of that management in one place, necessitating a unification system. As a result, the lack of expertise leads to poor implementation and integration of multicloud services.
How much does it cost to move your legacy app to the cloud? Read our overview. How to Estimate the Cost of Cloud Migration
Benefits of a Multicloud Strategy
Despite the various threats and challenges of multicloud technologies, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. This disparity explains why the best companies in the world are focusing their resources on cloud-based services.
Let’s discuss the well-known benefits of a multicloud strategy:
Organizations can optimize costs for specific service-level requirements and elastic scale by planning service capacity allocation through the multicloud. According to Intel, the financial perks of multicloud computing eliminate the risks involved in using any outdated legacy application.
Using multicloud for business enables you to benefit from the state-of-the-art infrastructure to improve performance. For example, Google Cloud excels in big data systems, while Microsoft Azure is a premium choice for running Windows applications in old systems. AWS also has advanced capabilities in analytics. These technologies and services work in unison to optimize the performance and productivity of business operations from different perspectives.
Lowers impact of DDoS attacks
The rapid and constant development of cloud deployments has equally met with the increase in DDoS attacks. These attacks can take down an entire site. However, a well-crafted multi-cloud design lowers the potency of such attacks. So, when a cloud provider suffers from an attack, the multicloud strategy quickly shifts the workload to unaffected cloud environments.
Vendor lock-in avoidance
This feature is an incredible benefit of using a multicloud strategy. When you use multicloud technology, you pitch vendors against one another and help keep their pricing honest. Simultaneously, your business can land lucrative deals from the most promising vendor.
A multicloud strategy will ultimately contribute to the system’s reliability. More specifically, using multicloud can effortlessly serve as the solution when the primary cloud cannot process a solicited service like an e-commerce transaction.
Curiously, the safety and trust factor of legacy systems make them a reliable option, despite being outdated. But the reliability of the multicloud strategy provides extra motivation to modernize.
Foster digital transformation
All advantages of multicloud strategy are geared towards establishing and sustaining a competitive digital economy. Multicloud tools enable you to simulate transitions for efficient record keeping, security, and data management. The best tools also offer multicloud cost forecasting, which is necessary when establishing a composite budget.
Simplifying and Accelerating Your Multicloud Strategy
With so many providers out there, how can one select a multicloud strategy for maximized competitive advantage?
First, you need to understand what cloud providers you need. Let’s focus on numbers. Flexera reports also show that 50% of enterprises have significant workloads on AWS with 41% running those significant workloads on Azure. Google Cloud has a 22% share for significant workloads.
All these platforms offer similar features and services. The pricing policy is also similar across the board, with calculators and cloud support models.
With this information in mind, you should adapt your strategy in line with the most promising multicloud service providers out there. Factor in your budget and consult with the providers for more information on compatibility issues and potential pitfalls.
We have highlighted the most effective ways of simplifying and accelerating your multicloud strategy:
Reduce the complexity of operation management
Operating across multiple clouds is complex because of the required technical expertise and integration issues. But you can simplify the management of operations with cloud management platform tools. These custom tools can handle operations like data storage, computation, application, and integration across those clouds.
Focus on analytics
Irrespective of the multicloud technology you employ, focus on gathering metrics and data on key performance indicators. Use a centralized data-monitoring system to curate the entire implementation process. This will help you obtain useful insights into the multicloud platform in use and cut costs.
Prioritize security and compliance
Since multicloud architectures are prone to security mishaps and potential exploitation, pay more attention to the most secure cloud tools for your business and implement API-enabled communications between various touchpoints. Use only trusted multicloud services as part of your strategy. Besides, remember to choose multicloud tools that comply with the laws of the country.
Adopt a DevOps culture
Embracing a cloud-based DevOps culture is beneficial to a company’s financial growth. By implementing robust DevOps multicloud practices focused on application deployment, you can facilitate an agile cross-team collaboration. And most importantly, team managers can monitor team progress and make necessary adjustments.
Hire the right experts
Before integrating a multicloud strategy, hire experts with the technical know-how to maintain the technology. Alternatively, use a strategy that suits the technical expertise of your cloud developers.
What are the best way to integrate a multicloud and existing cloud strategy? Find the answers here. Cloud Migration Strategy Must-Do’s: Preparation, Migration, and Maintenance
Multicloud is no longer a matter of ‘if’ — it’s a matter of ‘when’. But like other technological advancements, multicloud services present challenges and threats to companies in different industries. Moreover, implementation often interrupts the regular workflow as some companies are doing ‘multicloud’ like a single cloud.
However, companies are integrating cloud services because they are relatively cheaper and offer endless opportunities than legacy software alternatives. A well-crafted multicloud strategy gives your business a massive competitive advantage. Now you have all the information you need to employ multicloud for business, start working on an implementation strategy. Reach out to us and let our experts seamlessly transfer your business to a modern cloud-based environment.