Organizations are using multi-cloud platforms through various vendors to manage data. Cost savings and flexibility in workloads are its significant advantages. At the same time, multiple challenges exist when compared to a single cloud.

Integrating, transforming, accessing, and securing the data becomes tough as data and applications are distributed across multiple clouds. Hence, a thoughtful move to implement multi-cloud is worthy. Aligning the cloud strategy according to the business needs and strategy will add value to your business and minimize multi-cloud challenges.

Here is the perfect guide if you are planning to develop and implement a multi-cloud strategy.

Introduction to multi-cloud 

A multi-cloud approach uses more than one cloud platform to manage data and applications. Software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) are three different kinds of cloud offerings.

Multi-cloud is different from hybrid cloud, which refers to the combination of private cloud with one or more public clouds services, with exclusive software to enable communication between the services. As a result, businesses enjoy greater flexibility by distributing workloads among cloud solutions according to the changing needs and prices. 

Multi-cloud services are delivered by some significant public cloud providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). So, any organization can optimize its usage to execute data storage, cyber security, cloud computing, and data analytics concurrently. 

Advantages of multi-cloud

The top advantage of multi-cloud is flexibility. Using a single service provider poses the risk of vendor lock-in, which can be eliminated using multiple providers. Also, a greater ability to switch between providers easily can be availed of. Minimum outages and reduced service failure are the outcomes of using multi-cloud. 

The significant other advantages include the following :

Quick access to data 

Regional requirements exist. Accordingly, placing data on multiple cloud service providers depending on geographical location can minimize latency and enhance user experience. Quick and private connections between multiple cloud service providers enable experiencing highly optimized interconnection. 

Optimize costs

The primary concern of using multi-cloud is the cost. Multi-cloud enables shifting the workloads from one environment to another. As a result, the users can experience minimum disruption with cost savings and enhanced workload performance.

Compatible solutions

Optimize the best technologies from various service providers to fulfill your specific needs. At the same time, keeping a private cloud for sensitive information is always suggested. According to Wall Street Journal interview, Martin Hofmann, Volkswagen CIO, says that the organization uses public cloud services from reputable cloud organizations such as Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft to derive the best. 

Challenges of multi-cloud 

Below stated are some limitations of multi-cloud:

1. Highly complex:  A multi-cloud environment has a variety of service environments, architectures, SLAs, data backups, integrations, cost structures, and privacy and security risks. With such complexity, it is necessary to implement comprehensive cloud management. 

2. Requires skills

 A multi-cloud environment requires candidates experienced in different cloud environments, services, architectures, etc. Gartner’s report states that skill set is among the top three positions of multi-cloud complexity. As a result, costs increase to impart training, payments, etc. Cloud can save costs concerning workload management, managed services, and capital expenditure. However, the complexity and skill set requirement can crumble the cost savings. Furthermore, with a lack of commitment to multiple vendor mix, loss incurs while negotiating for prices. 

3. Minimized visibility 

Multi-cloud environment paves the path for various monitoring tools and dashboards. Thus, one misses out on viewing the unified database performance, network statistics, automation, cloud storage, etc., across different cloud environments. 

Multicloud strategy 

Businesses have to study what kind of data will help meet their business objectives and how to optimize cloud platforms to manage and deliver it. Ensure to take the advice of the significant stakeholders while designing a multi-cloud strategy.

C-Level business leaders, CTO, CIO, professionals in legal, finance, risk management, cyber security executives could be some. Moreover, team collaboration ensures successful multi-cloud strategy development. In addition, seeking the advice of data science and analytics leaders is worth implementing. 

The technical and business strategies are combined to form four different segments of management, namely people, data, technology, and security, to serve organizations using multi-cloud.

1. People

A multi-cloud environment can be effective if it enables only the right people to access the data. So, assigning responsibility to the employees well versed in cross-cloud management helps regulate data access.

Also, employees have to be trained with the changing architecture and technologies. Moreover, centers of excellence will help continuous learning.

2. Data

Increased raw data gives rise to complexity such as multiple formats. Hence, a multi-cloud environment requires master data to attain uniform data classification across various domains, namely employee, partner, supplier, customer product, etc. 

A single management portal gives a solution for accessing applications, services, and cloud-based data. Although, data access still needs to be regulated. 

3. Technology

Organizations have to consider the help of new vendors designed for the multi-cloud. Open-source software serves advantages such as enhanced speed, higher control, better management. The current storage and backup have to be evaluated to attain efficient virtualization.

4. Security 

Different companies have different security policies. Hence, a security program covering various environments has to be defined. The SLAs have to be understood entirely before implementing with the cloud services. 

Conclusion :

Organizations have found the cloud to be compelling, due to which they have created a multi-cloud environment, which gives a competitive edge, generates greater flexibility, agility, and efficiency. A well-defined multi-cloud strategy can make a tremendous change for organizations. So, it is time to implement it.