When Amazon introduced Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) in 2006, there was no telling that cloud solutions would end up ruling the day in the computing world. Concerns about security and data governance persist, but there can be no question that cloud solutions have changed nearly everything about the infrastructure behind business functions today.
The benefits of cloud solutions are numerous. Costs should go down without the need to patch or upgrade hardware, and the cloud aids in business continuity across an organization.
The cloud scales better than traditional on-premises infrastructure, making it easier to add or remove resources as needed. End users also will get greater and easier access to resources and data when they want, where they want it when utilizing cloud solutions. And, the cloud also presents tremendous opportunity for developers to innovate using cloud resources.
With so many opportunities to utilize these cloud solutions, organizations have taken a few different approaches to cloud adoption, including hybrid and multi-cloud strategies. While hybrid cloud refers to a mix between private and public clouds, multi-cloud is about using multiple different public cloud sources in one environment, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Multi-Cloud Benefits and Challenges
Going the multi-cloud route has many benefits, including giving your users choice of the platform they want to use for digital innovation. But there can be drawbacks as well to be considered. A recent IDG Research survey found the following facts about cloud solutions within the context of a multi-cloud strategy:
- 60% of companies are migrating their apps to the cloud.
- 54% believe their IT is better aligned with core business objectives after implementing a multi-cloud strategy.
- 66% described cloud migrations as a challenge.
With this mixed bag of results, organizations should be careful to ensure moving certain workloads and internal infrastructure to cloud solutions is the right move and that those moves are happening for solid, sound business reasons.
Any cloud solutions architect will want to understand the risks that these moves will mean for the infrastructure they, and their organization, relies on.
The following are all key questions organizations should ask any cloud solutions provider:
- Does the solution allow us to keep track of cost and over- or under-provisioned resources?
- How easy is it to remove or add instances/licenses?
- How does the cost of the solution stack up to competitors?
- How does the solution integrate and interact with other technology we have?
After considering these questions, the journey to getting the best out of cloud solutions will be made easier for IT and end users alike.