by Zac Cutler
By the end of this year, 2/3 of all enterprise infrastructure will be cloud based. But how do you decide which cloud is best for your organization?
IT is a highly dynamic environment that is constantly adopting and implementing new technologies and hosting requirements can change quickly.
There are many tools that will help with cost sizing, assessment, optimization and other metrics to help IT with decision making, but in a fluid environment, how can you keep up?
Adopting a multi-cloud strategy means enabling, and embracing greater choice in your IT service catalog, which is a new and novel concept for many IT departments but makes solid business sense. Fierce competition between providers continues to fuel rapid evolution of cloud services, and innovation opens the door to new possibilities, often in ways unexpected. Positioning your organization to leverage the best solution available – regardless of the hosting model – is simply the smart play.
In any system, the most reliable design is one that is minimizes points of failure. While cloud providers place great emphasis on achieving high levels of availability, outages – planned or unexpected – invariably occur in any system, and SLA’s can significantly vary across solutions and providers. A properly implemented multi-cloud deployment means your most critical applications and data are not dependent on a single provider, and are therefore more durable.
Users expect their applications to perform well, and in a cloud hosting model this perception is highly dependent on connectivity. By selecting a provider with data centers close to your customers, you’re ensuring that latency is minimized, and the user experience is the best possible. In an environment where users are distributed across a wide geographic area, the best solution is likely to require resources from multiple providers, and a multi-cloud strategy positions your organization to leverage those resources effectively.
For some industries, such as finance, healthcare, as well as government entities, regulatory compliance is a make it or break it proposition, and in these cases, it’s essential that all components of the system comply with the expected standard. These certifications may vary by service (for example, a provider’s object-storage service may be SSAE-16 compliant, but its data warehousing service may not be) region, or hosting site. In these cases, a multi-cloud approach ensures you aren’t stuck with a service catalog that doesn’t fulfill your regulatory needs.
Avoiding vendor lock-in is a very common reason for exploring a multi-cloud strategy, as most organizations are concerned about becoming wholly dependent on a single provider and platform for their computing needs. In some cases, avoiding this dependency is a core business requirement, and ensuring portability of workloads a strategic decision that ensures new solutions and services can easily be adopted as they arise, ensuring that the business remains agile and competitive.
Overspend is common in most cloud deployments, and as organizations seek to rein in their cloud expenditures, it’s prudent to explore cost efficient options across providers. By leveraging the best, most cost-effective service available for your workload at a given time, you’re ensuring operational efficiency. In some cases, such as Azure Hybrid Benefit, significant cost savings can be realized by leveraging partnerships that may already exist between your organization and a provider, but their portfolio alone may not adequately satisfy the business requirement. In this case, a multi-cloud strategy can help keep costs to a minimum and ensure new opportunities for savings can be leveraged as they emerge.
At TDS, we are helping customers make decisions and move between on premises and off premises for better end-user experience, improved response time, higher app availability and scalability, better cost, and compliance.
Bottom line, the cloud helps business be more secure, available, and responsive to changing requirements and demands. And having a multi-cloud strategy helps organizations better manage these requirements no matter how unpredictable. 2020 certainly is proof that we all need to be ready for the unexpected.
Whether you’re starting your cloud journey, adopting a multi-cloud strategy, or need to accelerate your progress, watch our 30 minute discussion on how to create an adoption plan that aligns IT with the business strategy and helps you to get there faster–without downtime–using TransitionManager: