2020 has shown us so far that one of the things businesses need most is flexibility. Whether there’s any truth in the fact that a global pandemic could have been predicted, companies did not factor it into their business plan for this year. However, those who have the most flexibility have fared somewhat better than those with more rigid structures and business practices.
Multi cloud is the adoption of a mixture of services from multiple cloud vendors to provide your business with a reliable, secure and most importantly, agile set of services.
Very few businesses are great at providing all the things you need. Instead of using one supplier for everything, it may be more beneficial to look at different providers for different services. For example, if you’re looking for a CRM platform, is Microsoft Dynamics the best option or would Salesforce work better for your business? Just because Microsoft is your primary supplier it doesn’t mean you have to use them for everything.
You’re almost certainly likely to get a better deal by shopping around different vendors than if you go with one supplier for all your services. If you’re in the market for an ERP system, both Oracle Fusion ERP and Cloud ERP from SAP are available. Even if the predominance of your other services are Oracle based, for an ERP, you may find that SAP are better suited to your particular needs. Even if an alternative supplier turns out not to be right for you, considering both options at the outset means that vendors have an incentive to offer you the best possible price when there is competition involved.
Agility in business is key, both in the current climate and for the future. The ability to make changes when you need to and scale up rapidly is much easier with multi cloud options. Multi cloud also allows developers to pick and choose which components best suit their needs. If the front end of one platform works for your business but the back end of another is more suitable then you can use both, you aren’t tied to using the whole platform from one vendor.
Cloud vendors can sometimes take advantage of the fact that all layers sit with them and therefore make it difficult for an enterprise to move their data and applications to another supplier. A multi cloud strategy avoids this lock in drawback by spreading workloads across various suppliers. Once agreements are in place, moving to another vendor becomes far less complex and more streamlined.
With dedicated connections to cloud services, businesses can create high speed, low latency infrastructures easily. A multi cloud environment with the right connections will offer considerably lower latency than simply relying on your internet connection.
With most vendors offering an SLA of 99.5% availability or better, if you spread this across similar cloud providers the chances of your business critical services all being affected by an outage at any one time reduce significantly.
Initially it may look more complex to control an infrastructure spread across different vendors and different networks. However, it’s easier than you would imagine to manage an environment where the vendors are all cloud based. With cloud platforms, clients don’t have to be concerned with any of the layers in between, you only need to worry about access and connectivity to your platforms. With administration and governance portals as standard on most cloud platforms, standardisation and reporting are relatively simple with a multi cloud set up, albeit that some data aggregation effort is required.
Multi cloud is essentially about choice, and more choice for businesses is always a positive. This approach to managing your services (including hybrid/on-premises where needed) is here to stay and so the question really is when are you going to make the switch? If you’re already thinking about implementing new cloud platforms or have done so recently, talk to us about how we can help you.