There’s a lot that businesses can do with the cloud. They can set up Customer Relationship Management systems, automate enterprise accounting and payroll, as well as, 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
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.
Reduced Risk of Disruption
If you are 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.
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 must 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.
Prevent Vendor Lock-In
If you are using a single vendor, you risk becoming locked-in, with them. What this means is that you will 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, will not 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:
If you are 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.
It is harder to keep tabs on your data when you are 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.
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 platforms, 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.
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 team, to assess them and determine what combination of vendors is best for your business.
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.
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.
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 they can plan and execute the strategy, but it also rests, on the quality of cloud service providers that, the business works with.
Whether you are 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.
About the Author
Victoria Shokunbi, Business Development Executive at Layer3
Featured Image: onixnet
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