The global public cloud services market is projected to grow 17.3 percent this year. And it no longer matters whether enterprises choose to use the cloud along their digital transformation journeys or not. Bill Fenick suggests that the cloud is undoubtedly the future within business. And we are already seeing it evolve.
As businesses’ cloud strategies mature, we’re seeing them transition to more refined approaches that enable them to achieve parts of what they need from one cloud provider and other parts of it from another. For example, they may run data analytics or machine learning workloads using one cloud service while simply storing raw data on an alternative one.
This customised deployment approach of leveraging various cloud platforms is known as a multicloud strategy. And with it, businesses are able to secure the flexibility they need along their increasingly complex digital transformations.
Businesses that adapt to the evolving cloud and adopt a multicloud strategy will gain an edge over their competition, while those that don’t will find themselves left behind. So how can enterprises ensure they keep up? First, it is important to understand the benefits a business can reap from a multicloud approach.
No vendor lock-In
One major driving trend for multicloud is the growing fear of vendor lock-in, as it can be very costly for enterprises to move out of an arrangement they’re locked into with a single cloud provider, particularly when they’re already using their APIs and other proprietary services. By diversifying their clouds, businesses avoid this fear by no longer putting all their eggs in one basket.
Further, a multicloud strategy can offer businesses an alternative to giving any one cloud vendor complete leverage over them. By deliberately dispersing their ‘eggs’ into different baskets (or clouds), businesses gain greater flexibility with their cloud-hosted workloads along with a cost advantage by preserving pricing leverage with cloud providers.
Optimise the workload
It shouldn’t surprise you that different cloud providers have different specialties, so determining which cloud provider your applications will perform best in and deploying those applications accordingly, will enable businesses to achieve higher efficiency, better compliance, cost savings and deliver greater quality of service.
For example, a business might determine that its AI is supported best by IBM Cloud, but its enterprise workloads perform better on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. With the flexibility to move workloads and applications to the platform that is the best fit, businesses will reap the performance and efficiency benefits of a multicloud strategy.
Deploying the right app on the right cloud, and leveraging multiple clouds for different workloads, enables businesses to bolster reliability as well. By diversifying their workloads and reducing exposure to an outage or data breach, businesses gain greater risk management and have access to a secondary cloud in case their primary cloud experiences any downtime. Secondary clouds can act as a fail-safe solution to keep workloads running at all times.
Early adopters who recognised the benefits of operating more than one cloud platform were housing one workload on one cloud, and another on a different platform – but these workload strategies were completely disconnected. Over time, businesses have likely determined which clouds are best for their different workloads – but one challenge they still face is determining how to avoid a siloed cloud approach.
Businesses will start to see the true value of a multicloud approach once they have the flexibility to move workloads across different cloud platforms. Enterprises that leverage a holistic cloud strategy that ties together multiple different cloud deployments will realise the advantages of multicloud – productivity, efficiency and cost savings – all while meeting their growing business needs.
In order to unlock the flexibility advantages that a multicloud strategy can afford businesses, organisations need to stop waiting for precision and instead jump into multicloud head-on. Enterprises will find they’re able to learn much more about what works and what doesn’t by doing rather than trying to perfect a plan.
As businesses look to take the leap, the key to success is to have the right connectivity to the various cloud platforms. Carrier- and cloud-neutral colocation environments can help simplify and strengthen a multicloud strategy by giving business a better choice for connecting to the cloud. Businesses gain the benefit of low latency connectivity through colocation data centres that offer direct interconnections to multiple cloud service providers within the same facility, which ultimately translates to better service for customers, even as businesses grow.
Bill Fenick is VP Enterprise for Interxion