There’s a lot that businesses can do with the cloud. They can set up Customer Relationship Management systems, automate enterprise accounting and payroll, and coordinate large scale projects. There are also cloud solutions tailored to companies in specific industries.
While some companies rely on single cloud service providers for their core processes, a lot of organizations use cloud services from multiple agencies. They may depend on one provider for their email systems and another for their payroll and accounting platform.
When businesses rely on multiple providers in this way, they are said to have adopted a multi-cloud strategy.
They might combine various kinds of cloud from different service providers. For instance, they could anchor Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) with one firm, and have another one cover Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).
The Benefits of a Multicloud
1. A Mix of the Best Services
You may find that no single vendor gives you the best service across all aspects of your operations. In this case, you will be better off using a couple of providers for different portions of work. This lets you enjoy the best from multiple sources, instead of getting limited by reliance on a single source.
2. Reduced Risk of Disruption
If you’re using a single provider, your services may be slowed or shut down if they experience an outage. You can spare yourself the negative effects on business continuity, by diversifying your vendors. This way, some of your operations will carry on even if one cloud vendor has its services disrupted by DDoS attacks or some other issue.
3. Favourable Pricing
Companies can also reduce overall cloud hosting costs by spreading their workloads across several clouds. In this case, their mix of service providers could be determined by the prices they offer. If they have to pay a higher price for robust service in one area, they could reduce its effect on their budget by assigning some of their workloads to less costly clouds.
4. Prevent Vendor Lock-In
If you are using a single vendor, you risk becoming locked-in with them. What this means is that you’ll be fully dependent on them for cloud services, and find it hard to opt-out because the cost of switching is too high. This could restrict your company’s growth and hamper innovation. You usually won’t have to worry about this if you use multiple cloud service providers
The Drawbacks of Multicloud
Despite the advantages that accrue from using a multi-cloud strategy, it also comes with some potential drawbacks. These are:
1. Increased Complexity
If you’re using multiple clouds, you will have to move between different cloud environments regularly. You have to master the various environments and become comfortable with switching between them.
2. Security Issues
It’s harder to keep tabs on your data when you’re working on several platforms. The complexity of multi-cloud makes it more challenging to manage; security lapses are more likely in this situation, and cybercriminals will want to exploit them if they get the chance.
3. Talent Management Problems
You will have to train your staff to use more than one cloud platform. This will involve expending time and resources, both for the training and in the cost of your staff’s slower pace of work while they are still getting familiar with your multiple cloud environments.
What Is the Difference Between Multicloud and Hybrid Cloud?
Both multi-cloud and hybrid cloud involve using more than one cloud platform to get things done. But they are different strategies in one crucial respect: multi-cloud is about using different cloud service providers who usually offer public cloud services. Hybrid cloud is more about using both public and private clouds, that is, more than one type of cloud.
Do You Need a Multi-Cloud Strategy?
Your company should go for a multi-cloud strategy if
•It places a premium on innovation and flexibility
•Your business is significantly affected by unscheduled downtimes
•You can deal with the costs of getting familiar with multiple cloud environments
•Workers are skilled enough to use several cloud platforms
•You can deal with the performance and security issues that may arise
How to Build a Multi-Cloud Strategy for Your Business
Here are a few steps you can take to build your multi-cloud strategy.
1. Recognize How Service Providers Differ
Every cloud service provider implements and uniquely manages its computing functionalities. You should learn how your preferred vendors work or at least get your IT teams to assess them and determine what combination of vendors is best for your business.
2. Know What You Will Use Each Cloud For
Define your reason for deploying each cloud, and how they will help you achieve your operational goals. For example, you may want one cloud provider to serve your data storage need, and another to take care of your project management system.
3. Have a Plan for Migrating Data Between Clouds
Without prior planning, you might find the process of moving data between clouds to be complicated and hard to manage. Your multi-cloud strategy should contain a plan of action for transferring data between cloud platforms. When you come up with such a plan, test it to confirm that it works.
4. Prepare to Adopt the Multi-Cloud Strategy
Train your staff so that they are ready to work with several cloud platforms. The depth of skills they need to learn will depend on the sort of work they will be doing on the clouds. They could be developing and running applications in each cloud environment, so they have to be prepared for this.
The success of a business’s multi-cloud strategy depends on how it can plan and execute the strategy. But it also rests on the quality of cloud service providers that the business works with.
Whether you’re seeking a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud strategy, you can depend on Layer3 Cloud for solutions that meet your needs. Layer3 Cloud offers on-demand storage, virtual servers, remote backup, managed security, and several other services that you can leverage to improve your business’ operations.
If you would like to know what cloud strategy suits your company best, you can contact our expert consultants here.