Investment in cloud technology is booming – especially as the nation is working remotely and organisations need to transform the way they operate. Business leaders are looking eagerly to the cloud, to ease immediate pain and to help maintain a competitive edge now and in the future, as we all turn an eye to what that future might look like.
Too often we speak to businesses who have been distracted by a shiny new tech solution, been sold a single cloud package, or who have simply chosen a single cloud provider on the basis of the package deal on offer.
Companies need to thoroughly understand and define their business needs before they embark on cloud deployment or transformation. Only then will they understand the exact needs of each department and how, or if, they will benefit from migration to the cloud.
With this understanding, companies will be able to select the right cloud strategy for their requirements to really gain the benefits on offer. In some cases this could be hybrid cloud infrastructure and in others, a multicloud strategy may be the best solution for requirements. Opting for a multicloud strategy can bring organisations the flexibility and cost-efficiency they expect from cloud but business leaders must understand that one size doesn’t always fit all.
Traditionally businesses used to rely on on-prem architecture. They would host all of their data and applications within this single environment. The drive to remain competitive is now pushing cloud transformation in most organisations. There is always a buy vs build argument around private cloud networks. I’ve previously written a blog on this – if you’re interested. In brief, many organisations prefer not to rely on 3rd party suppliers for their network so they can retain complete control. However, building and maintaining an in-house private network should never be underestimated. The level of skills needed in-house should be a key consideration as to whether this is the right solution for the business.
Most companies look to the go-to cloud providers such as AWS and Microsoft Azure for public cloud deployments. However does your business requirement mean that another cloud provider would be able to offer services for a very specific need? A multicloud strategy can offer the flexibility to choose best-of-breed features and avoid single vendor lock-in contracts. However, IT leaders must consider the cost of renting the space and limitations on performance, for certain workloads or applications, before defining how they will deploy multiple environments across the business. It’s also imperative to stay on top of governance and security and understand where and how the business is storing data.
Cloud technology is synonymous with flexibility and a multicloud strategy does really embody all that it can bring. When deploying technology according to your requirements, you can match applications to certain cloud networks instead of piling everything into one/any cloud and hoping for the best. Multicloud enables the right application to be deployed to the right place – or the right tool for the right job, as I’m sure you’ve heard me say before!
Looking at hybrid strategies, companies can use a combination of private and public cloud and on-prem servers for different areas of the business and differing needs across departments. This can offer flexibility in the case of outages or unexpected changes. Testing and development can take place in the cloud while production is on-prem, as an example.
Bringing both strategies together, there are a number of cost benefits for organisations who invest in multicloud deployments alongside on-prem environments.
Requirements change rapidly. Leaders must arm their businesses with an agile network so they can respond to change – be it anything from new strategic directions to a global pandemic. It’s so important to have the power of choice for your organisation when it comes to cloud deployments. Cloud technology can help you to cut costs, improve workload and application performance, improve business efficiency and flexibility as well as allow you to innovate and leverage emerging technologies.
Most importantly, a multicloud strategy will reduce the risk of expensive and long vendor lock-in contracts. Be sure to take the time to understand your requirements in order to maximise your investment and avoid buyer’s remorse. Only then can you meet your business requirements as well as the needs of your customers.