Multi-cloud is increasingly becoming the preferred strategy for many enterprises, with the UK leading the charge: according to a recent survey by Vanson Bourne of 2,300 IT decision makers, 19% of UK businesses are using multiple cloud vendors compared to the global average of 12%. It’s clear that many IT leaders are no longer claiming loyalty to one particular cloud provider and are looking for to diversify the way they leverage cloud computing.

What is multi-cloud?

Multi-Cloud is the use of two or more cloud computing services. While a multi-cloud deployment can refer to any implementation of multiple Software as a Service (SaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud offerings, today, it generally refers to a mix of public Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) environments, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

So, what are the challenges?

Security – If you buy a house and decide to add 8 additional windows and 2 additional doors, naturally you are increasing the amount of possible entry points for intruders. The same rings true if you opt for multiple cloud providers. Security should be at the forefront of any business’s mind when taking on more than one cloud vendor. Vendors will provide a level of security to combat this, but it is down to you to manage and implement a safe multi-cloud strategy and to minimise the risk of data loss/security breaches.

Cost Management – Many of us have an obscene amount of subscriptions billed to our personal accounts on a monthly basis. Netflix, Amazon, Headspace, UFC, Spotify, charity contributions… It’s hard to keep up if you’re not organised. When subscribing to multiple cloud providers you need to go through the financials with a fine-tooth comb to ensure costs are congruent with the business needs each month. Whilst cost flexibility is one of the main benefits of adopting multi-cloud, each platform has its own billing system, payment options and pricing model which can quickly get out of hand. It’s important to closely monitor your cloud spend and fine-tune it accordingly to ensure multi-cloud efficiency.

Skills Gap – Finding a skilled professional who can work across AWS, Azure & GCP is no small task. With Amazon owning the lion’s share of the market, you will naturally find a lot more professionals opting to specialise purely within AWS. But across all cloud providers you will struggle to find talent with expert knowledge on more than one platform. This can be combated with clever management and strategic investment.

Multi-cloud strategies require multi-faceted teams

A key client of mine recently approached me with a common challenge: they were having trouble sourcing Oracle Cloud specialists.

After a lengthy discussion around some of the similarities between Oracle Cloud and AWS, we concluded that the best option was to bring in an AWS Architect and allow him to upskill through collaboration with the Oracle expert already on site. This kind of management, along with the willingness to invest in up-and-coming talent by offering the appropriate training, is one way to ensure that you have a diverse, multi-faceted team with the ability to manage a complex multi-cloud environment.

For more information on the best way to build team’s for multi-cloud, call on 02079322773.