The benefits of cloud computing are well-known. It is cost-efficient, flexible, and scalable.
However, there is one thing that poses a challenge in its adoption process. It is called vendor lock-in. Vendor lock-in implies that the company is dependent on a single cloud provider and cannot move out to another vendor easily. The shift to another vendor comes with the cost of murky legal complications, technology incompetency, and a substantial loss of money.
The only way to stop vendor lock-in is by adopting a multi-cloud strategy. With a multi-cloud strategy, companies can choose different cloud service providers for various cloud services or features.
According to IBM, over 85% of companies are already using multiple clouds in their business. The number could go up to 98%.
BEST PRACTICES TO FOLLOW WHILE OPTING FOR A MULTI-CLOUD STRATEGY
If you have also decided to adopt a multi-cloud strategy, these best practices will help you –
DESIGN A FUTURE-PROOF STRATEGY
Start by deciding which areas of business will benefit from the cloud. Define the benefits that the company plans to achieve by migrating to the cloud. Is it to improve operational excellence? Is it to save costs? Is it to accelerate the delivery speed? Answers to these questions will enable the company to choose between the public and private cloud. Companies must also create a future-proof strategy by determining how many cloud options they need, the compatibility of applications migrated to the cloud, and preparing for the future changes that the cloud provider may implement.
AVOID CLOUD SPRAWL
Most use multiple cloud services and providers, leading to a situation called cloud sprawl. If not controlled on time, companies might lose money on unrequited cloud resources. To avoid this situation, companies must plan their cloud infrastructure carefully. They should use only those resources that are required on priority. The nice-to-have ones can be discarded or used later. This will help companies to right-size their infrastructure and save up to 40% on operating costs.
ENSURE DATA SECURITY
A survey by Nominet reveals that the respondents faced at least one data breach with multi-cloud in 2019. That is 50% more than hybrid and single-cloud users. While cloud providers promise a high level of cybersecurity, the onus also lies with the company to ensure that its multi-cloud strategy is not vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks. One way to prevent a data breach is by selecting the right environment and security levels for the workload. For example, companies can keep confidential information on the premise and public information on the cloud. They must balance between different environments to safeguard customer data and internal information. Choose cloud partners who plan cloud implementation based on the workload.
PLAN AUTOMATION OPPORTUNITIES
Automation tools allow companies to move workloads from one cloud environment to another. Automation also helps them to balance loads, especially if they have multiple assets in their environment. You need to plan for both – the application structure and the deployment – to ensure that there are no hiccups in managing a multi-cloud environment. While advising companies on using cloud automation, TechTarget’s Stephen Bigelow says that some cloud automation tools can be sensitive to changes. Even a simple OS upgrade could disrupt cloud automation. Hence, consider this before moving to a multi-cloud strategy.
ENSURE TECHNICAL COMPETENCY
Companies must assess if teams are competent to manage the transition. The migration could fail if the teams do not have the right expertise. This would require developers to re-learn ways to work with multiple cloud providers. Companies will have to develop a multi-cloud-focused culture within the IT team to help them adapt to the transition easily.
PREPARE FOR COMPLEXITY
Companies must set up a central hub for operations and management. This reduces the complexity and the load on IT staff as they can manage and automate multiple environments from the centralized hub. This will also increase transparency across all assets and enable employees to use them more effectively.
ENSURE CHANGE MANAGEMENT
Before moving to a multi-cloud environment, appraise all the concerned employees about the change. Define and establish a dedicated cloud team that would comprise representatives from all departments who can establish the best practices for effective transitioning, cloud policies, and manage costs across different teams and business units.
HAVE A BACKUP
Considering that a company might work with multiple cloud providers, it is always safe to have a backup plan so that employees can access mission-critical data and ensure business continuity even if there is an outage from one cloud provider. We also advise creating a backup of data on all cloud environments regularly to prevent any disaster.
Managing a multi-cloud environment requires a competent workforce who can manage the varying costs of different cloud providers and the different levels of cybersecurity. Weigh the pros and cons and assess the need for a multi-cloud strategy before investing. Choose a multi-cloud strategy if:
- You have mission-critical operations that could face major trouble due to unplanned downtimes
- You can manage the costs of multiple cloud providers with ease
- You have a workforce that can easily manage multiple cloud environments
To know if your company must choose multi-cloud, connect with us.