It is no more a question whether organizations will embrace a multi-cloud structure or not; rather it is when and how they will do this. The business agility and cost-effectiveness of cloud hosting solutions are there for all to see. Public cloud services like those of AWS or Azure has proved these benefits beyond a shadow of doubt. Client enterprises have come to understand the benefits of SaaS, IaaS and PaaS solutions. Therefore, if they must stay in business, they have to focus on creating innovations and managing their journey within a multi-cloud architecture.
Why do you need a multi-cloud strategy?
For companies to survive in this new virtual market, it is important to follow and embrace a strategy, which will let them migrate workloads across multiple clouds. However, not every application is a candidate for such migration and the business has to decide which services to move. With the growth of digital media in the past few years, it has become extremely hard for businesses to keep their applications like mailing apps or CRM away from the enterprise firewall. Today, the idea of using apps and infrastructures from various cloud hosting services providers has become the norm. The multi-cloud architecture has grown to include even the hosted environments, on-site data centers and private clouds. Reports suggest that nearly 85% of IT in businesses will come under multi-clouds by the end of this year.
Having a multi-cloud model is becoming the rule and not the exception because of some key reasons. To start with, the fast rate at which technologies are being created, it is very hard for traditional businesses to keep pace with these. For instance, there are major changes in apps like CRM or Core Banking, which would have minimal changes earlier. Today, there is convergence of consumer technologies with apps and this makes businesses more accessible. So, one can get reports or analytics on their mobile phones and laptops, even when they may be traveling. Moreover, the growth in volume and types of workloads has made it very challenging the CIOs to come up with correct storage and networking need predictions. Businesses would do better with a flexible roadmap whereby they can keep their options open.
How does the multi-cloud strategy come about?
In several ways, the new multi-cloud model is different from the previous structured based and approval-based IT provisioning. The CIOs should ideally follow these guidelines to make sure their businesses can transform smoothly into a multi-cloud model:
- One of the main differences with traditional enterprise models lies in the fact that the business departments usually trigger adoption of technologies. For instance, its IT staff will typically handle CRM deployment for any consumer goods manufacturer. Therefore, choices of products would also depend upon input from the different product teams, customization needs, cost considerations, limits on infrastructure etc. However, with new sales and marketing strategies coming out, there may be new demands by some departments. These are hard to include later on. The rate at which market changes are very fast today and so, departments must have the freedom to provision apps or new infrastructure faster. They should not be forced to go through the strict approval and provisioning process. Therefore, the IT teams must streamline It resource provisioning and offer businesses with a simple layer of abstraction. However, the IT teams must also keep managing security and compliance protocols to make sure that all initiatives undertaken are in sync with business goals.
- To optimize use of the cloud infrastructure and apps, you need a carefully prepared roadmap. All the important cloud platforms will offer a wide range of solutions to cater to diverse workloads. So, to deploy a multi-cloud hosting service strategy, you need a high level of clarity about the different workloads and individual requirements for scalability, security, performance etc. Therefore, the IT department will have to produce a detailed roadmap highlighting the existing workloads and future scalability needs.
- As businesses shift to the multi-cloud environment, the IT team will also undergo a change of role. They will now have to work together with many departmental teams for identifying use cases and defining services. They will have to understand the relation between workloads and business processes, implement data governance, security protocols and risk mitigation.
- The IT teams will also need to place a governance system right at the beginning of this journey. This should focus on data governance, security and privacy, workflows for cloud resources, managed services, workload types, data migration processes etc.
- Finally, decision makers are likely to face many challenges in a multi-cloud setting because it is varied and highly complex. Businesses will continue to rely on many legacy apps and data. Therefore, the multi-cloud must have many integration points where the in-house apps and data can converge. This means that the CIO will have to deploy a comprehensive platform for cloud management. This will ensure end-to-end visibility over all kinds of cloud resources; it will facilitate better resource provisioning, monitoring and administration of solutions.