Multi-cloud Part 1
Multi-cloud – There. I said it.
Are you done rolling your eyes?
Now let’s take a closer look at what multi-cloud means; how tech vendors are capitalizing on the latest shiny object to enter the Silicon Valley lexicon; and what you can do to find the signal within the noise.
OK, what does multi-cloud mean?
Today, the term “cloud” most often refers to a variety of applications and services consumed over the public internet (I’ll get into private versus public clouds a little later. Please calm down).
So, it stands that any organization consuming multiple applications or services over the public internet must therefore be multi-cloud; right?
If it were that simple, then nearly all organizations would already be multi-cloud. Who needs a strategy for a goal everyone has already achieved?
Alas, it isn’t that simple. Consuming multiple clouds is easy. You just need a computer and a credit card…like ordering a pizza. And ordering pizza in and of itself is not strategic.
The challenge (and therefore all of the hubbub) lies in leveraging all of these cloud platforms in a way that is aligned with the organization’s business goals. This is strategy. But the technology landscape is full of noise and confusion over terms like “multi-cloud”. Confusion is good for marginal-value vendors. It’s bad for you; the customer.
Every business exists solely to generate revenue (cue Gordon Gecko?). And to oversimplify, businesses primarily generate revenue in one of two ways:
One: provide a good or service that is unique to the market, or
Two: introduce innovation to an existing good or service that broadens the customer base, which is often tightly linked to reduction in cost to produce said good or service.
Modern businesses achieve both of these goals through the development and deployment of software.
And this reliance on software development and deployment is at the core of the multi-cloud discussion.
Which brings us to: why the emphasis on multi-cloud?
Bear with me here.
Developing software is an integral part of building and growing any modern business. As mentioned in our previous blog software still runs on infrastructure, and this is where the public cloud comes into play.
The public cloud offers services and applications that are ready-to-use; cutting startup costs and shortening time-to-market.
A shorter time-to-market means you have a jump start on your competition, which means you have access to customers your competition doesn’t, which means you can generate revenue earlier, which means you can accomplish your goals faster.
So public cloud is good. In fact, IDC says global public cloud spend will reach $160Bn in 2018.
But as we learned in the last century, silos are definitely bad. So, as it were, building your entire organization in a single public cloud is inviting disaster.
Outages within a public cloud provider can be disastrous for businesses that depend on their services for their applications.
Tight alignment with a single cloud provider also increases your exposure to vendor lock-in, which can make it difficult to explore ways to lower your development costs, which can wipe out any advantage you have against a competitor that isn’t mired with such limitations.
Experian, the world’s leading information services company, mandates that applications not contain any native components for a particular cloud provider. Experian CIO, Barry Libenson stating, “I’ll trade that any day for the flexibility it gives us.”.
As your business grows, diversification becomes your friend. And so multi-cloud it is.
Join us for our next installment: Multi-cloud Part Deux where we’ll focus on what multi-cloud is and what it isn’t.