Written by guest blogger, Merriah Lamb.
Adopting a multi-cloud strategy is critical for organizations seeking to embrace technological innovation.
As innovation and experimentation are becoming more critical, organizations must change the way they are wired. Decision makers need to find a way to balance business strategies and software development in one overall agile and lean philosophy. This article discusses why adopting a multi-cloud strategy is the best strategy for organizations looking to stay lean and productive while undergoing a digital transformation.
What is driving organizations to undergo a digital transformation?
According to a recent forecast by the IDC, "By 2021, at least 50% of global GDP will be digitized, with growth in every industry driven by digitally-enhanced offerings, operations, and relationships." This prediction is driving every business to move quickly to adopt the right digital technologies and business models in order to stay relevant and profitable in an increasingly competitive market. Most CIOs and CTOs would agree a multi-cloud strategy is critical for achieving sustained technological innovation.
Digital transformation is different for every company; however, according to ITPRO, it can be defined as a process of using technology to change your business radically. The easiest way to explain digital transformation is to look at the example of Blockbuster Video. In the mid-80s, it was one of the biggest video rental chains. At its height, it had over 8,000 stores. However, it failed to adapt to changing customer needs, and with basically no digital offerings, it closed its doors in 2013. The failure of Blockbuster was made more evident by the agility of Netflix. It is worth over $100 Billion (2018) because they have made informed decisions through data and have continually made risks to adapt to customer and technology habits by harnessing the full potential of the cloud.
A multi-cloud strategy is essential to your organization's Digital Transformation
As the name suggests, a multi-cloud strategy or as it is sometimes called a poly-cloud strategy uses two or more cloud computing services. Most organizations are already beginning to employ a multi-cloud strategy by using a combination of public clouds, software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers and on-premise infrastructure (private clouds) to innovate and support their applications and business models. A multi-cloud strategy helps enterprises accelerate innovation by adopting next-generation applications and running them on the platform where it performs best.
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One of the most popular reasons for organizations looking to stay lean to adopt a multi-cloud strategy is reducing the risk of vendor lock-in with any given provider. "It is a nightmare for enterprises to calculate the cost of computing using a single cloud provider," says Mark Wilczek of CIO. When organizations adopt a multi-cloud strategy, it provides them with leverage rather than a strict contract with one cloud provider. When workloads end up transferring between providers, development teams can build apps that work across providers. In other words, working in a multi-cloud environment creates a more flexible environment for businesses to innovate.
A multi-cloud strategy offers an enhanced level of protection against costly downtime, as it provides the option for built-in redundancy across more than one cloud provider. Preventing downtime ensures a seamless customer and work experience, which is the bottom line for any organization looking to increase its revenue and stay productive. Having more money to invest in developing new applications or more disruptive technology, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is important for organizations wanting to stay ahead of its competition.
A recent report on Cloud Computing by RightScale, states that so far in 2018 organizations are already leveraging almost five clouds on average. Respondents are running applications in 3.1 clouds and experimenting with 1.7 more for a total of 4.8 clouds. So, why are multi-cloud strategies continuing to trend upward?
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The answer is simple. Adopting a multi-cloud strategy accelerates digital transformation. All the major cloud providers - Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and the Google Platform offer a range of data-related services from cloud data warehousing, big data, NoSQL, and real-time streaming. "Some workloads run better on one cloud platform while other workloads achieve higher performance and lower cost on another platform. By taking on a multi-cloud strategy, companies can choose the best-in-class technology," according to Maliha Balala from the O'Reilly Report.
IT analysts agree that settling on a single cloud model would only create compromises and stunt your business's growth. Instead, they conclude that the integration of resources and applications across multiple cloud platforms will become a critical component of the Digital Transformation journey.