A multicloud approach gives IT executives the most freedom to run their businesses as and where they want. Here are six of the most significant advantages that multicloud provides.
You’ve probably heard people talking about multi-cloud or creating a “multi-cloud plan” if you’re even slightly involved with technology in your business. The promise of multi-cloud is that it will enable you to choose the best cloud for each workload with minimal effort.
Despite the fact that multi-cloud has become a popular topic of conversation, support and enthusiasm for the idea vary widely among cloud providers, making it difficult to assess what a multi-cloud offering might provide.
In my position as the CTO of Google Cloud, I regularly speak with organizations interested in learning more about multi-cloud, and in this post, we’ll look at six of the most significant benefits multi-cloud has to offer. When evaluating provider choices, it’s critical to thoroughly analyze the solution to understand how it addresses one or more business issues to ensure you’re investing in robust multi-cloud technology rather than partial solutions.
1. Environments of data governance and regulation
A the list of governmental or business body regulations has emerged to determine how different data types should be stored in different geographies, ranging from GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act to GAIA-X and several others. In certain instances, the primary cloud provider lacks a region in your target area or has no plans to add one. Adding a second cloud provider (or running a compatible hybrid solution) to your regional data governance or digital sovereignty strategy is a good way to fill in the gaps.
2. Control of operational risks management
By replicating your apps around zones (to prevent local failures) or geographic regions, all tier-one cloud providers will help you run highly stable applications (to avoid downtime from a larger-scale outage or natural disaster). However, some very large companies have even higher reliability requirements: they need to be able to withstand a cloud-wide outage. Organizations that operate primarily in the cloud will turn to a second provider to help them achieve their business continuity and disaster recovery goals, just as they have turned to the cloud to help them survive an interruption in their on-premises environment.
3. Risk assessment in general
Aside from technological risks, working with a single cloud provider can pose operational risks, which can cause the board to have second thoughts about vendor lock-in. Consider a tumultuous legal battle, a changing regulatory landscape, or competitive pressures. Perhaps your primary cloud provider has non-public cloud business interests that conflict with your core business. Running applications in several clouds—or putting yourself in a position to move quickly if necessary—can help alleviate those concerns.
4. Leverage in business
Let’s face it: running a business in the cloud can be expensive. According to IT vendor management 101, the best way to keep costs under control is to work with several suppliers and exploit contractual leverage by playing them off of one another. Although some early cloud providers may have succeeded in retaining customers, today’s newer providers provide a range of differentiated offerings that the earlier providers did not. For businesses looking to add a second provider to their mix, this is a simple way to get started. Furthermore, multi-cloud technology based on open standards will assist you in porting previously cloud-locked applications to a more cost-effective environment, if desired.
5. Applications that are time-sensitive
The physical location in which an application is run can have a significant impact, particularly if it requires access to real-time data streams. As a result, not all applications are well suited to the public cloud; others will need to be managed in-house, in what we refer to as a hybrid cloud model. Manufacturing applications, in particular, often have unique requirements (latency, residency, and access) that make cloud-only deployment difficult.
Multicloud technologies allow you to run your applications locally while maintaining a shared software stack and connecting to the central ecosystem of your cloud provider. In a nutshell, a hybrid/multicloud approach allows you to use a public cloud methodology for all of your applications, not just those that are run entirely in the cloud.
6. Having access to the ‘best of breed’
When it comes to value-added services, not all cloud providers are created equal. Although all providers provide compute and storage facilities, there can be significant variations in terms of network scope, as well as support for data analytics, artificial intelligence, legacy apps, and other features. Furthermore, cloud providers are constantly introducing revolutionary new services, so the provider that best meets your needs today may become obsolete in the future. Multicloud technologies enable you to have your cake and eat it, allowing you to create your ecosystem on top of best-of-breed services rather than being tied to a single provider.
Cloud providers are constantly introducing revolutionary new services, so the provider that best meets your needs today will become obsolete in the future.
Of course, multicloud is still in its infancy, and implementing a multicloud strategy requires time, resources, and effort. Despite this, businesses are coming up with new ways to mix and match cloud-based compute services to suit their needs. Major League Baseball, for example, uses Google Cloud’s multicloud Anthos platform in each of its 30 ballparks to enable its systems to access data from local radar and high-definition video streams. However, MLB discovered that Anthos eliminated their need for technicians inside the ballpark, which was a blessing during the pandemic when local ordinances imposed strict staffing restrictions.
I’m excited to see what new use cases and benefits arise as multicloud usage grows.