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Three reasons why organisations are embracing a multi-cloud strategy


28 March 2018:

Cloud is everywhere and the choice is greater than ever before, as organisations move towards adopting a multi-cloud strategy, Ian Jeffs, Business Unit Director at Tech Data Advanced Solutions looks at how the channel can benefit 

The rise of cloud-based services combined with pay-as-you-go scalability, cost effectiveness and increased reliability has seen public cloud take off in popularity. However, whilst there are numerous compelling advantages to public cloud, many IT leaders are wary of being locked into a particular vendor that may not match their future needs.

Instead, organisations are adopting a multi-cloud approach to meet their business and technological requirements today and into the future. According to a recent report published by Gartner1 70% of enterprises will be implementing a multi-cloud strategy by 2019. It’s not hard to see why multi-cloud has been labelled the next big thing.  It provides organisations with the ability to use multiple cloud services to get the best of different offerings in one simple infrastructure. Here we look at 3 reasons why businesses are making the switch and the upside this presents to the channel.   

  1. Best of breed solutions - no single cloud model can fit the diverse requirements and workloads across an entire organisation. Choosing the multi-cloud route gives businesses multiple choices to utilise the best of every platform, to create an infrastructure specific to an individual business depending on their organisational goals. Whilst one cloud provider may excel when it comes to object storage, another provider may have greater functionality to offer in services. Business units also differ in their needs, some may require fast upload speeds while others may have a greater size requirement. Rather than compromise business processes to fit a specific provider’s set up, a multi-cloud strategy gives organisations access to the best cloud-based services, regardless of which provider offers them. However, managing data across multiple clouds as well as on premise can bring complexity. Organisations should consider ways to manage and protect this data in a consistent way. This presents an opportunity for channel partners to guide their customers through the process, identifying the different needs of business units and finding the best match for each part of the business, not only in terms of cost and functionality but also data security.

     

  2. Cost management – using multiple clouds gives organisations greater control and visibility of their costs. Moving systems to the cloud can reduce capital expense costs on hardware and free up internal resource to focus on more productive IT projects. However, cloud inefficiency or downtime can cause major disruptions so it is imperative that businesses effectively analyse workloads and understand the impact of downtime. Organisations that subscribe to multiple cloud providers can achieve the greatest cost benefit for the services they use, but only if they select the right provider for their business needs. Measuring costs of multiple cloud services can be tricky, especially when considering “shadow IT” where services have been spun up outside of the centralised control of the IT department. There are several cloud management tools and services available to assist organisations in more easily tracking their cloud usage – and this is great news for the channel. With a number of active cloud providers to select from, organisations are looking to channel partners to guide them through the choices, helping to identify the best cloud option for their requirements and budget. Channel partners looking to drive incremental opportunities should aim to work with a well-connected distributor who can provide training and expertise plus access to a broad portfolio of solutions, tools and services encompassing all aspects of cloud.

     

  3. Business Continuity – adopting a multi-cloud storage strategy can help ensure business continuity in times of disaster. Not all data is created equal and while some data may sit dormant in a database for its lifetime, other parcels of data will be vital to the health of an organisation. When designing a disaster recovery plan, it’s important that they develop targeted strategies to address specific business cases in the event of the worst happening.  Major cloud providers have datacentres throughout the world, and subscribers can place cloud resources in multiple regions to ensure they remain available in the event of a disaster. A multi-cloud strategy enables organisations to shield themselves against downtime by no longer relying on just one cloud platform but utilising as many as needed in order to grow and innovate their business.


Maximising the multi-cloud opportunity

Cloud adoption continues to accelerate as organisations embrace the agility, scalability and cost efficiency that cloud delivers. However, organisations are wary of losing flexibility and control by being tied into a single vendor cloud solution, which is why many are exploring a multi-cloud strategy. Organisations will look to the channel for advice on the best cloud option for workloads, the applications most appropriate for the cloud shift and executing the migration plan to deliver greater efficiency and cost savings. Additionally, organisations will need assistance in getting their various cloud instances to work efficiently to maximise business benefits.

Channel partners wanting to capitalise in this space can explore the range of cloud solutions and vendors offered by Tech Data Advanced Solutions. Supported by the dedicated Tech Data Cloud team, partners can determine what aspects of multi-cloud technology they wish to pursue and take steps to develop the appropriate skills, both technical and commercial, to meet their customer’s needs. The future is bright and multi-cloud, interested channel partners need to leap forward now or risk being left behind.


1Market Trends: Multicloud Usage Will Drive Cloud Management Platform Growth

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