Written by Paul Katigbak
President commercial sales at Dell Technologies, Canada
In a relatively short period of time, cloud computing has transitioned from a foreign concept to an omnipresent service proven to be the most efficient means to manage and store data. While the evolving convenience, accessibility and flexibility of the cloud has changed its perceived value, every organization is moving at its own pace through their cloud journey. Yet, nearly all are working with a multi-cloud approach—including a combination of clouds hosted on-premises, in public clouds and at the edge. In fact, according to a study by IDC, an overwhelming majority of organizations (93%) are deploying workloads across two or more clouds which are hosted on-premises, co-located or at edge locations.
As organizations embark on their digital transformation journey, it is imperative they have a strategy in place to make the most of the data, security, resiliency and application advantages of multi-cloud environments. There are also challenges that should be considered including multiple application programming interfaces (APIs), longer development time and roadblocks to sharing applications and data across cloud platforms. A hybrid-cloud approach enables consistent infrastructure and operations that can extend customers’ applications and processes seamlessly across public, private and edge deployment options.
As Canadian businesses place a closer focus on multi-cloud solutions, here are some important considerations to make the most of a multi-cloud strategy.
One of the primary benefits of cloud is that it provides the ability to access data anytime, anywhere, but there’s no denying that it also means data is more open to security threats. We’ve seen this as data breaches have become increasingly common. Legacy systems, however, are continually being deemed inefficient in the current tech environment. Yet at the same time, as modernization begins to take place, there is an inherent cybersecurity concern that comes from the lack of control and visibility into security practices in hosted cloud environments. Multi-cloud balances this concern by allowing organizations to select the right environment and level of security for each workload. In a multi-cloud environment, sensitive information can stay on-premises but public-facing information can still be hosted off-premises.
To make the most of multi-cloud’s benefits, organizations must remember to consider cloud as an operating model and should seek relationships with the right partners that allow them to plan and treat cloud on a workload by workload basis while also providing awareness of security policies.
Flexibility and transparency
While cloud environments offer clear benefits in terms of efficiency and cost, a business’ needs can change. Multi-cloud environments provide the ability to adjust through flexibility and transparency helping both IT teams and organizations in general, find true business value. An organization can choose how to handle each workload—but has the flexibility to easily change how data sets and workloads are stored and used if necessary.
Keep it Simple
With the complexity that is layered over multiple clouds and multiple vendors, having one central hub for operations and management reduces complexity and can help lighten the load for IT staff/maintenance.
With this type of approach, multiple environments can be monitored and automated from a single control pane, which greatly reduces the time and effort required to maintain multi-cloud environments. This creates transparency across all assets no matter where they reside, allowing for more efficient operations as well as the ability to gauge return on investment from each vendor. To make the most of any cloud environment, organizations should look at their long-term plan to determine how their infrastructure needs will evolve over the next five, 10 or even 20 years.
Transitioning to the cloud is one of the most important and fundamental steps in any organization’s digital transformation. A multi-cloud approach, when implemented correctly, should be a best practice to keep data secure. The benefits are numerous, and with the future primed for the evolution and adaptation of emerging tech, multi-cloud provides an essential foundation for tomorrow’s workloads and workforce needs.