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Why Every Organization Needs an Effective Multi-Cloud Strategy

Cloud adoption has accelerated during the current pandemic, providing organizations with access to many technologies that have allowed them to support a remote workforce. According to the Flexera 2023 State of the Cloud Report, 56 percent of organizations use multiple public clouds. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of organizations take a hybrid cloud approach with one or more public and private clouds.

The multi-cloud approach has been gaining momentum for the past several years because it delivers a multitude of business benefits. Chief among them is the ability to improve application availability and performance by selecting the platform that best meets application requirements. In addition, multiple clouds reduce the risk of downtime through redundancy, enable cost optimization through competitive pricing and provide a hedge against provider lock-in.

Without a formal strategy, however, using multiple clouds can create risk. In their haste to add new cloud infrastructure, apps and services, many organizations fail to exercise proper oversight. The uncontrolled proliferation of cloud instances often results in wasted resources, unexpected costs and potential security issues.

Guessing Game

A recent IBM report notes that although more organizations are using multiple clouds, “relatively few grasp how to manage these environments.” Only 41 percent of those using multiple clouds have a specific multi-cloud management strategy, and only 38 percent have the tools and procedures in place to operate a multi-cloud environment.

Another recent study by Densify found that nearly half of all companies acquire cloud resources on an entirely ad hoc basis. When asked how they choose the optimal cloud resources to run their applications, 55 percent said they used their “best guess” or “tribal knowledge.”

As you might expect, guesswork doesn’t generally produce great results. Eighty percent reported they need help with cloud management, 40 percent said they aren’t certain how to best leverage cloud resources for their business requirements, and 45 percent said they are over budget and spending more than they should.

The problem is that while it is easy to provision cloud resources, managing them presents unique challenges. In a traditional IT environment, deploying and managing workloads involves a series of manual tasks such as sizing, provisioning and configuring resources. These processes are far too time-consuming to keep pace with dynamic cloud provisioning.

Potential Pitfalls

Complicating things is the fact that different cloud providers have different configurations and standards, making it tough to shift data, applications and services between platforms. Connecting on-premises applications with cloud resources such as backup and file syncing solutions can also be challenging. Without a well-defined strategy, organizations implementing multiple clouds may run into many of the following issues:

  • Attempting to migrate applications that aren’t suitable for public cloud infrastructure without re-architecting or re-factoring

  • Problems connecting cloud resources with essential on-premises applications such as backup and file syncing solutions

  • Downtime and service disruptions associated with migrating mission-critical applications

  • Learning curves required to manage new tools, processes and governance requirements

  • Post-migration problems with application performance, resiliency and scale

  • Overprovisioned cloud instances resulting in idle or underutilized resources that drive up costs

  • Poor visibility into resources running on multiple cloud platforms

Organizations of all sizes are shifting more workloads onto a combination of cloud platforms in order to improve application availability, reduce their reliance upon on-premises infrastructure, optimize IT spending and improve flexibility. However, this shift also produces some unique management challenges. The experts at IronLogix can analyze your IT environment and business needs and help you craft a multi-cloud strategy that improves operational efficiency and creates competitive advantages.

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