Digital transformation is touching all industries. Cloud services are just one means of facilitating swifter transformation in your business, but with so many available there is a need for integration.
Businesses of all sizes are making a major shift, gradually moving workloads out of their corporate data centers, onto multi-cloud platforms. AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, VMware and others are examples of hosted services. Some workloads run better on one cloud platform, while others achieve higher performance and lower costs on another. However, designing and operating multiple platforms can be highly complex — especially with new tools, apps and features being launched every day. In addition, each cloud environment operates separately, requires different management and technical skills, has different architecture and provides different services. So how can multiple cloud platforms be managed together with on-premises infrastructure in a manner that maximizes efficiency, flexibility and agility?
Why do organizations adopt multi-cloud strategies?
There are a number of reasons why an organizations may choose to develop a multi-cloud strategy. Every enterprise, whether it is a start-up, small or medium-sized business or global corporation, should consider a multi-cloud strategy as part of their business continuity plan in order to take advantage of financial benefits. Additionally, developing a multi-cloud strategy allows the most appropriate cloud (on-premises, private or public) to be used for each business application. Selecting the right platform and appropriate type of cloud for each workload is the best way to optimize the IT environment and focus on growing your business. Another advantage of adopting a multi-cloud strategy is that businesses avoid being tied to a single vendor. If your cloud provider suddenly changes their strategy, SLAs or pricing model, or if new management takes over, you want to have other options you can turn to quickly.
Transform your digital organization with multi-cloud strategy
Do you really know how many different clouds your organization uses to host systems or applications? How do businesses unlock the power of rapidly evolving technologies to maximize their investment? For most businesses, the best answer will be a multi-cloud strategy. Ever more companies are embracing a multi-cloud approach as part of their digital transformation strategy. So far, no single cloud model has been able to cope with the various requirements and workloads of business systems and applications. A multi-cloud strategy gives companies the ability to choose best in class technologies and services from completely different cloud providers, in order to create the best possible solution for their specific business needs. The task of designing a multi-cloud environment will be completely different for every organization. In order to build a successful multi-cloud environment for your business, you need to consider the following four main stages:
- Planning - Start by understanding what your environment includes, in order to pinpoint infrastructure needs such as key multi-cloud management challenges, assessing vulnerabilities, planning for disaster recovery and business continuity and manage them effectively. Do not forget to establish how internal infrastructure depends on cloud services, and vice versa. It is worth remembering that IT needs to manage the entire IT infrastructure as a whole, not just separate cloud services.
- Migrating – If you spend enough time on the planning phase, the actual migration should go smoothly. At least in theory. Of course, unexpected problems may occur, but a well-planned migration with pre-defined scenarios should minimize the risk. Identify data and apps that would benefit from migrating to the cloud, then plan and execute your migration from the perspective of strategies, timelines, migration plan and employee responsibilities. Then you will know exactly what you need and where to start.
- Optimizing – After you have migrated your data and applications, it is time for tests and verification. Deploy, operate and optimize your IT environments, cloud platforms, configuration and processes in order to achieve performance, agility and the efficiency you need with the right combination of cloud platforms.
- Securing - As the number of applications, IT systems and workloads rises, so does the potential for a failure or security problem. Each cloud and virtualized environment is exposed to unique threats and has its own security measures to counter them. Take your time to plan and implement your protection policy, so you can minimize the risk of data loss. Protect your applications and data from breaches, detect threats and prevent DDoS attacks. Security requires a comprehensive approach that takes into account a number of elements such as 24/7 control, tools, processes, implemented systems, technical architecture, etc. You should have the ability to roll out and implement security updates and policies at high speed, at infrastructure, platform and application levels.
Choosing the appropriate cloud platform provider and service model is an important part of adopting a multi-cloud strategy, but it is equally vital that you have a reliable partner that is able to accomplish the cloud migration and provide secure and ongoing management of the multi-cloud environment. If you take the right steps when adopting a multi-cloud strategy, selecting the right multi-cloud service provider should prove straightforward. Find out more information about Multi-Cloud services in our new White Paper.