As large enterprises accelerate their migration to the cloud, they are increasingly implementing a multi-cloud strategy. In fact, about 86% of enterprises across US, EMEA and APAC are embracing a multi-cloud approach. This subset of hybrid cloud has some technical differences in architecture and application treatment, so when and why are enterprises choosing it as a core component in their cloud roadmap? There are three primary drivers.
1) Architecture and Application Design
Different applications have different tech stacks, and some of them can be easily adapted to a specific cloud architecture (e.g. GCP, Azure, AWS). Rather than re-engineer an application to suit a single cloud provider, the Cloud Business Office (CBO) can adopt a multi-cloud strategy where different cloud providers can suit different application architectures with ease.
2) Agility in Design
Much like businesses diversify products and services, a multi-cloud architecture can help companies avoid vendor lock-in to a specific Cloud Service Provider (CSP). Having a cloud-agnostic design empowers the enterprise to move from one CSP to another if justified by different factors such as performance, service availability, data sovereignty and control, or regulatory requirements.
3) Flexible Governance Models
Choosing a multi-cloud approach allows the enterprise to better use tools and resources for monitoring and support, enabling it to standardize the support and governance model including cost optimization.
These three drivers have influenced the cloud approach of numerous businesses across industries. In some cases we’ve seen, a multi-cloud strategy has enabled quick wins in application migration, compared to a complex technology stack that would’ve made it challenging to re-factor or re-architect the application for a single CSP-based architecture. In other instances, a multi-cloud strategy has been advantageous to meeting security or compliance requirements, whether industry/standard body definitions (e.g.: FINMA for Banking or HIPAA for Healthcare), or regional (e.g.: C5 for Germany or FedRAMP for US).
Enterprises developing a cloud strategy should always perform a cost analysis that considers factors such as license optimization, infrastructure consolidation, COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) product replacement or migration, data migration and migration of the DevOps pipeline. Tools to support this analysis include AWS TSO Logic, Azure TCO Calculator, or GCP Cost Calculator.
As businesses accelerate their embrace of cloud services, it’s important that the IT organization establish a sound strategy for their cloud deployments. For many enterprises, a multi-cloud strategy has proven the best investment as they position their company to benefit both in the short and long term.