Enterprise organizations in 2020 are pursuing multi-cloud computing strategies to maintain flexibility, drive innovation, and reduce their dependence on any one public cloud service provider.

Keep reading to discover the seven reasons why organizations are choosing a multi-cloud strategy in 2020 – and why yours should be doing the same.

multi cloud

What is a Multi-Cloud Strategy?

A multi-cloud environment is one that combines services from more than one public cloud service provider to meet an organizations’ technical and business needs. Multi-cloud solutions can combine Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) deployments.

A multi-cloud strategy empowers organizations to increase the efficiency of their IT spending and business operations by choosing the right service and provider for each use case. Industry analysts at Forrester surveyed over 600 cloud strategy professionals to determine the leading use cases for multi-cloud architecture1, which included:

  • Selectively deploying application workloads across multiple public and private clouds based on application and business needs.
  • Combining on-premises infrastructure and services from multiple public clouds in a hybrid cloud environment.
  • Developing API-consistent cloud infrastructure across both public and private clouds.
  • Extending data-center capabilities and expanding disaster recovery capabilities.
  • Regulating access to cloud-based data, applications, and services through a single management portal.
  • Building applications with components deployed to different cloud platforms.

With 93% of enterprise organizations already pursuing a multi-cloud strategy, ongoing IT investment will focus on optimizing multi-cloud architecture and deployments to realize key strategic benefits and objectives. Let’s take a closer look at seven of the most important drivers for multi-cloud investment in 2020.

7 Reasons Why Organizations Choose a Multi-Cloud Strategy

1. Avoiding Vendor Lock-In

Vendor lock-in happens when it becomes too difficult for an organization to transfer its business away from one cloud service provider to another provider or even to bring its data back on-premises.

Organizations that depend on a single cloud service provider frequently find themselves developing applications that rely heavily on the unique capabilities of that vendor. As those organizations expand their investment in that single cloud, switching providers becomes more costly, complex, and time-consuming.

In contrast, organizations that have committed to a multi-cloud strategy intentionally plan for agility and portability between multiple cloud providers. With the flexibility to transfer applications between multiple public cloud vendors, organizations are poised to take advantage of new technologies from all providers and can choose the best-performing or most cost-effective services for specific application workloads.

Adopting a multi-cloud strategy can help your organization avoid vendor lock-in, take advantage of new and better technologies from other providers, and choose the most cost-effective and performance-optimized compute or storage resources for each workload.

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2. Overcoming Data Gravity

In 2020, data plays a central role in daily business operations for thousands of businesses. Organizations have traditionally stored their data in on-premise data centers where it could be analyzed by legacy applications, but in the cloud computing era, more are choosing to store data in the cloud and analyze data with cloud-based applications.

The term “Data Gravity” refers to the idea that large data sets are difficult and expensive to move or migrate, and that as a result, they must be stored in proximity with the applications and services used to analyze them. If your organization stores a large volume of data with a single cloud service provider, data gravity could force you to deploy related apps and services with the same provider – even when there are more cost-effective options available in another cloud.

Overcoming data gravity is as simple as adopting a cloud-attached storage solution that connects to multiple clouds simultaneously. The best solutions minimize latency by hosting your data in close proximity to cloud data centers. Faction Cloud Control Volumes provides these capabilities and gives you full ownership and control of your data while ensuring data portability and security. Here is our guide to learn more about Cloud Volumes.

3. Optimizing Workloads in the Cloud

Each public cloud service provider offers its own blend of physical infrastructure components and application services with versatile functionality, usage characteristics, terms & conditions, and pricing. They also release new features on a regular basis to make their services more efficient, cost-effective, and attractive for customers.

As a result, there isn’t a single cloud provider that can claim to provide cost-optimized services that cover every potential business need or use case.

With a multi-cloud strategy, organizations select the most suitable cloud service provider for each individual application or workload, leading to enhanced application performance and improved cost-efficiency.

4. Elevating Application Performance

When cloud-based application services are delivered from servers at distant locations, data must travel across several network nodes before reaching the user. As network latency increases, slow data transfers may degrade application performance and negatively affect the user experience.

The major public cloud providers (AWS, Azure, & Google Cloud) operate multiple data centers in geographically diverse regions, creating a network of availability zones that deliver high-speed service to customers and users around the world. By adopting a multi-cloud strategy and leveraging cloud services from more than one vendor, organizations can access new geographies and provide better application and data performance for their users, wherever they are located.

5. Curbing Shadow IT

Shadow IT happens when independent business units within an organization adopt technological solutions without the oversight of the IT department. Shadow IT can lead to security concerns, especially when staff members are using unsecured platforms outside of the organizational firewall to transact sensitive data. Gartner has predicted that in 2020, 30% or more of successful cyber attacks will target Shadow IT resources within enterprise organizations.

When organizations are slow to adopt new technologies, employees may choose to independently configure the hardware, software, or web services they need without involving the IT department – thus proliferating Shadow IT’s risk to organizational data security.

Organizations adopting a multi-cloud approach can accelerate their adoption of cloud services that drive employee productivity and collaboration, reducing the temptation for employees to implement new technologies without going through the appropriate channels.

6. Enhancing Disaster Recovery Capabilities

Most public cloud service providers offer 99.5% uptime as part of their service level agreements —yet unplanned outages do happen and they can be extremely costly. A 2019 survey of 100 IT directors in large US enterprises found that organizations experienced an average of 830 minutes of unplanned downtime during the year, with an average cost of $5.6 million.

With a multi-cloud strategy, organizations can respond to unplanned service outages by failing over their workloads from one public cloud to another. With Faction’s cloud-based disaster recovery solutions, organizations can customize their failover models based on application-specific needs, taking advantage of trade-offs between cost and performance to achieve a fully optimized disaster recovery strategy.

7. Meeting Regulatory Compliance Requirements

More organizations than ever now need to meet regulatory compliance requirements related to data localization or data residency. Such regulations have been passed by the European Union and at least 10 other countries around the world, including India, China, Germany, Canada, and Australia.

Data localization laws may prohibit organizations from exporting data about a nation’s residents to other countries, requiring that the data be processed and stored in the same country where it was collected. In some countries, data localization laws apply to all forms of personal data, while in others, their scope is limited to specific types of data (personal health records, payment system data, etc.).

Organizations can comply with data localization or residency laws through a multi-cloud strategy by taking advantage of cloud service providers with regional availability zones and data storage infrastructure in these countries, even while leveraging a preferred cloud provider in other countries where data localization is not required.

Faction’s Multi-Cloud Data Solutions

Faction is your organization’s competitive advantage when it comes to maximizing the multi-cloud benefits, delivering value with industry-leading business resilience and cloud storage capabilities.

Faction Cloud Control Volumes, our cloud-attached data storage solution, empowers our customers to maximize data accessibility from multiple public clouds while driving down storage costs, dodging costly data egress fees, and avoiding long wait times for data transfer.

We’re also changing the way organizations do disaster recovery, making it easier than ever to optimize failover configurations that minimize costs while delivering on service level agreements.

Are You Ready to Future-Proof Your IT Organization with a Multi-Cloud Solution?

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1 https://zdnet4.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/2019/06/24/23dc5b34-334d-4f6c-812f-ce056ddfebc4/virtustream-forrester-multicloud-definition.png