Visionary organizations capitalize on modern IT environments, harnessing digital technologies to reimagine both customer and employee experiences. It is therefore no surprise that multi-cloud is booming — 73% of VMware customers already use two or more clouds, and 81% of enterprises expect to be multi-cloud by 2024.i
Yet, while multi-cloud delivers greater efficiency, agility and scalability to organizations, some IT leaders are still uncertain about how best to manage their multi-cloud estates. The key is a clearly defined strategy that eliminates the complexities, inefficiencies, vulnerabilities and silos common to multi-cloud environments.
Multi-cloud benefits are too numerous to ignore
When optimized, multi-cloud architectures help businesses accelerate service delivery while reducing costs and business risk. Companies can deliver transformational apps more quickly to customers and employees, thereby strengthening their competitive positions. Multi-cloud architectures also enable IT and lines of business to innovate using best-of-breed services for specific workloads.
The results are dramatic.i Organizations with multi-cloud architectures have:
- Transformed customer experience and growth, with a 35% revenue increase from faster modern app delivery
- Scaled their business while enabling product and service innovation, with 41% less cost and fewer hours spent on IT infrastructure
- Ensured employees can do their best work wherever they are, with 35% productivity savings across a distributed workforce
For all its benefits, multi-cloud isn’t guaranteed to succeed
Deriving the promised benefits of multi-cloud is not easy. Organizations cannot achieve them without an overarching strategy that addresses the friction and complexities inherent in a multi-cloud environment. Without a viable cross-cloud strategy in place, a multi-cloud environment can prove more limiting than a mono-cloud one.
The truth is, multi-cloud architectures are already complex today and will only become more so in the future as companies deploy more workloads to the cloud, sometimes spread across multiple clouds. There will be new cloud offerings from 5G telco providers, more clouds in edge locations, and an increased focus on security and spend.
One significant limitation of managing multiple clouds is that the toolsets providers offer typically can only function within their own cloud. This requires multiple teams to manage individual clouds in parallel, reducing efficiency and increasing cost and complexity.
Indeed, nearly one in four executives harbors concerns about the use of multiple clouds, including:ii
- Risk related to security, data or privacy issues
- Inconsistent infrastructure in APIs, databases, networks and security
- Hiring workers or maintaining workforces with new, specialized skills to support public clouds
- The ability to manage and optimize spend
- Increased complexity from policies that manage individual environments
These well-founded concerns all emerge from hurdles common to optimal multi-cloud management, ranging from complexity, skills gap, and cost and performance issues to security concerns and lack of consistency.
Consistency is the best way to take the next step with a multi-cloud solution
There are, of course, cross-cloud strategies and solutions that can enable businesses to overcome these common hurdles, and they all start and end with consistency. In our research, 78% of enterprise executives reported that the complexity of their cloud infrastructure is constant or growing in 2022.iii It’s no wonder, then, that 91% of executives want to improve consistency across their public cloud environments.iv
With the right multi-cloud solution, a single management control plane improves visibility and consistency, allowing companies to manage their clouds in the same or similar way. This certainly simplifies operations, but more importantly it mitigates risk since the same security policies are enforced everywhere. Consistency across multi-cloud also accelerates DevOps processes, as applications can be deployed to one or more public clouds without major rework. Such consistency across the estate could also mean that companies will require fewer highly skilled IT employees to manage the infrastructure.
Vigilance and diligence remain paramount to secure multi-cloud environments, and companies must further ensure they invest in solutions with security built in while regularly monitoring risk scores, activity logs, resource relationships and misconfigurations.
In multi-cloud, consistency is king, standing to unify multiple clouds under one umbrella of functionality that spans application modernization, management, infrastructure, security and networking.
Moving from ‘or’ to ‘and’ with the power of multi-cloud
Intelligently managing a multi-cloud infrastructure will help businesses accelerate agility, optimize performance and control risk.
But far too often, multi-cloud solutions demand leaders make tough compromises, forcing them into either/or choices that nobody wants to make. Decision makers are all too familiar with these trade-offs as they try to balance core principles and business imperatives against one another. The choice often distills down to freedom versus control. For example, should a company provide developers with the autonomy to use whatever clouds they prefer, or maintain control and efficiency by only allowing developers to use sanctioned clouds?
Companies do not have to make this choice. By achieving vendor-agnostic consistency across multiple cloud environments, business leaders can replace “or” with “and.” There’s no reason to choose between flexibility and control, for example, if both are simultaneously attainable.
And, with the right multi-cloud strategy, they are. Download “How Cloud Is Strategically Driving the Digital Business” to learn how to capitalize on the power of multi-cloud to maintain seamless operations without silos.
iVMware FY22 H2 Benchmark: Digital Momentum, August 2021
iiVMware FY22 H2 Benchmark: Digital Momentum, August 2021
iiiVMware FY22 H2 Benchmark: Digital Momentum, August 2021
ivVMware FY22 Q4 Executive Pulse
vVMware FY22 Q3 Executive Pulse, September 2021