By Hiren Parekh, Senior Director of Cloud Services, OVHcloud
Introducing new company-wide initiatives can be daunting for CIOs, especially when it comes to assessing the best cloud environment for a business. While it’s no secret that IT managers consider the use of cloud services strategic to their business, implementing and maintaining these services isn’t always smooth sailing – more than 40% say operating cloud services takes too much time and effort (according to a recent study we commissioned with Freeform Dynamics).
Despite the excitement around digital transformation, creating new business processes won’t be successful without core infrastructure that offers maximum flexibility. I believe that taking a multi-cloud approach is the key to doing just that, as it enables business to cater for their individual needs, instead of a one-size fits all approach.
Naturally, with a new methodology comes new challenges. For example, multiple cloud platforms offer a wider range of possible vulnerabilities. Thus, extra effort is required to achieve effective security, governance and compliance. Today however, businesses can take back elements of control over much of their security and governance. This includes mandatory IT staff training on avoiding security failures and reacting to breaches and data loss.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at what businesses need to consider when going down the multi-cloud path.
Opting for flexibility
A multi-cloud approach provides a comprehensive mix of public and private clouds, and they don’t necessarily need to be integrated, unlike hybrid cloud. Moreover, businesses today don’t have to be locked in to one provider. Many platforms are built on open-source technologies like OpenStack, which are widely supported by a range of cloud service providers and vendors such as OVHcloud. At the very least, opting for an open cloud gives businesses an extra element of flexibility.
It’s important to remember that services are rarely used in isolation. So, enabling multi-cloud and hybrid cloud solutions with on-premises systems is key to customer success, as this will help to overcome cost-related challenges associated with flexibility and visibility.
Combining on-premises and cloud infrastructure with a multi-cloud strategy has allowed our customers to connect to networks in a totally isolated and secure way, via numerous points of presence around the world.
As a result, organisations are able to shift to the cloud at their own pace and take a flexible approach – all while responding to their strategic objectives. This means businesses can control and run an application, workload, or data on any cloud (public, private and hybrid) based on their individual technical requirements.
Taking a cost-led approach
One point to consider when opting for cloud diversity is maintaining control of your budget. In order to ensure maximum efficiency with a multi-cloud strategy, it can be useful to have an internal team that can consolidate data and provide a cost/benefit analysis for the organisation. It’s also important to monitor cloud spend and finetune budgets depending on current and upcoming projects.
Our customers tell us that greater price transparency and auto-shutdown of unused systems are key priorities. They feel they shouldn’t have to work hard to figure out the cost of each component that makes up a service. They want an easier way to calculate their cloud expenditure and to predict future costs. To further simplify budget control, we have made the decision not to charge for ingress or egress traffic because we understand that this can be an impediment to moving data between different cloud providers. This is just one way that vendors can work to reduce the hurdles that some users perceive as part and parcel of moving to and between clouds.
This is because, these days, people buying cloud services are more experienced, and their previous experience, often with very large providers, has shown them that cost is not only one of the main differentiators, it’s also measurable and accountable and therefore an important metric. As a result, service providers are striving to set themselves apart by coming up with more workable pricing models for core enterprise workloads.
Now is the time for multi-cloud
Cloud adoption is no longer a matter of if, but when. Importantly, if a business is undergoing change, there are a myriad of cloud environments to help organisations manage that change. What’s more, as technology continues to advance, cloud infrastructure will become a mandatory requirement for organisations of all sizes to develop and grow. To cater to every organisations’ changing needs, we’re increasingly helping businesses implement a multi-cloud approach that will allow businesses to achieve their digital transformation needs.