The Multicloud Maze: Finding the right solution for your business

19 November 2020

Cloud technology has become mainstream for businesses, however there’s still some way to go before it’s adopted across entire organisations. C-level executives understand the benefits which deploying cloud technology can bring to their business – from efficiencies to flexibility, cost reductions to scalability. But with cloud vendors pushing their cloud packages as the ‘best’ solution and industry terms such as hybrid cloud, multicloud and SASE being scattered across the internet with varying applications of these terms, it can be difficult for companies to really know which solution is best for their business.

The definition challenge

Since the arrival of cloud, there’s been a significant growth in the number of platforms, business models and key terms which can be applied. Cloud technology has catapulted forward in its development and has seen adoption acceleration of around 3-5 years since Covid-19 hit. There are no signs of the technology integration slowing down. 

However a main issue arising from the increase in cloud technology offshoots, is the confusion around the definitions of these new models – mainly with multicloud and hybrid cloud, which are often used interchangeably and to mean slightly different things to different people. 

So to put a stake in the ground here, in this case multicloud means the use of numerous ‘as-a-Service’ types to help your business such as IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. However, it’s often more recognised as the use of ‘multiple’ major public cloud service providers including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and all of the others available on the market. Hybrid cloud is about using a variety of cloud platforms to get a mix such as public cloud and private cloud environments. 

So what’s the right solution?

With the mis-use of terms creating confusion surrounding cloud terminology, it comes as no surprise that businesses feel uneasy about choosing which cloud ecosystem to opt for.

Early adopters of the cloud have mostly chosen to utilise a single public cloud system such as Azure or AWS. This has meant that many have had to change their operating models so that any applications, data and assets could fit the cloud service provider’s specifications. All eggs in one basket! In the event of unexpected cost increases and similar, being stuck with one provider has prevented companies from migrating to a more suitable location, and being able to choose the best solution for the business requirements. 

It’s so important for businesses to allow enough time to properly evaluate their requirements, understand cost implications of deployment and ongoing operational charges. Only then can they decide which apps can stay onsite, which need the elasticity which cloud provides, and which can use the cloud and the company’s on-premise servers in a hybrid environment. 

Cloud benefits

Often the best solution for requirements lands as a hybrid cloud or multicloud ecosystem. Either option can work well for a company – even with a wide range of applications and workloads. These can be deployed to the best location for operational efficiency or for cost reduction, depending on the situation. This stops any restriction on businesses who are locked-in to vendor agreements forcing inappropriate choice of location because of a lack of options on the table. 

A multicloud approach brings peace of mind – reliance on a single cloud service and provider is reduced. The business has increased flexibility and scalability. 

A hybrid cloud approach is integral, especially for those in a transition state where legacy infrastructure is home to important services or applications. These applications can be migrated to cloud environments at a pace suitable to the business and with control of spend in a phased approach to digital transformation. 

Cloud technology can bring many benefits to companies including, cutting costs, improving efficiency and application performance and increasing flexibility and innovation. However, in order to really experience these benefits, companies must ensure they’re using the right toolbox for the job and have visibility of their ecosystem to maintain control. 

Hybrid cloud and multicloud strategies are usually the best solutions for businesses making the jump to cloud, allowing companies to get the most for their money and helping to transform and innovate their business.

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