You may hear organisations talk about the desire to reside in a single cloud. In reality, few organisations ever fully achieve that goal. No single technology provider has a monopoly on innovation, and organisational needs are often quite diverse. In fact, competition among these technology companies is what drives innovation. With that in mind, organisations must plan for the reality they’re likely to face: multiple clouds (public and private), as well as new edge locations. Here are four reasons why being in multiple clouds will be your reality:
1. Unique Capabilities Across Each Cloud:
Maintaining workloads in multiple clouds allows customers to leverage the best features from each cloud. While one provider may have a broader set of storage options, another may have better developer tools. One provider may specialise in AI and analytics, while another may boast more industry- or vertical-specific offerings (such as for retail or healthcare). Given this, many organisations will optimise for a best of breed approach instead of going all in with inferior solutions.
2. Risk Mitigation:
Many organisations are also hesitant to rely too heavily on a single cloud provider. If a provider stops investing in — or worse, cancels — the service you value most, what happens then? Diversifying your clouds prevents lock-in and reduces exposure to future risk. As in the saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” you should also be wary of putting all your workloads in one cloud. Technology investments are always challenging; picking a platform that can sustain for the next decade is critical to fuelling your success. Organisations must be aware that the technology vendor of today may not have the roadmap that adequately addresses tomorrow. They could even wake up one day in direct competition with their vendor or experience a significant service-level event that warrants using multiple cloud vendors.
3. Mergers and Acquisitions
Merging two companies is not as simple as moving a couple of apps and calling it a day. Deals of this nature usually involve substantial technology investments, both for those previously made and those that will follow. The greater number of IT environments involved in the integration, the more complex the deals will be. In these deals, an organisation may unintentionally or unexpectedly inherit new cloud environments. But each organisation’s core functions cannot be cut out without massive disruption. It is nearly impossible to circumvent an environment with multiple clouds, and a single-cloud environment would require the time-consuming and costly process of moving the workloads of the acquired company onto the existing cloud. The success of mergers and acquisitions deals can be greatly impacted by the IT integration and implementing multiple clouds can greatly streamline these deals.
4. Shadow IT:
Organisations oftentimes begin their cloud journeys without a centralised strategy. Rather, they are driven to the cloud by lines of business striving to meet an immediate need. This decentralised and siloed planning brought on by shadow IT creates challenges in managing everything. While often viewed as a negative, shadow IT is simply a reality for many organisations. The trick then becomes, as you put your house in order, how to address all those existing investments.
It is essential for organisations to invest in technologies that will best solve their business problems. While the public cloud is effective for many workloads, private clouds and edge environments will see continued investments. As discussed previously, addressing cloud sprawl is essential in maximising budget and resources. For this reason, many organisations look to hybrid cloud to streamline their multiple clouds. No matter what your current environment looks like, defining a centralised strategy for your organisation that accounts for the complexity of multiple environments is critical to your success with cloud.