As business leaders struggle to navigate increasingly complex technology ecosystems, it may sound counterproductive to incorporate a multi-cloud strategy that makes use of multiple IT services. After all, relying on a single service provider is inherently simpler. But it also lacks flexibility and scalability, and increases risk by having a single point of failure.
While multi-cloud strategies aren’t going to come to fruition overnight, it will help your business become more adaptable to the constant pace of change. To successfully implement a multi-cloud strategy, consider the tips below.
#1. Identify your workloads
You should start with a list of all important business processes. Certain workloads aren’t suited to the public cloud, while some are best handled in private cloud servers. For example, systems and processes that involve personally identifiable information (PII) or patient health information (PHI) are subject to strict compliance regulations. In other words, it’s not the sort of data you want to have in just any old online storage facility. By identifying your workloads, how important they are to your business, and the nature of the information they involve, you can determine which ones are best-suited to a public and private cloud or an in-house environment.
#2. Establish data visibility
One of the biggest challenges of implementing a multi-cloud environment is maintaining full visibility into your information. That’s why you need a scalable and flexible data governance program, so you always know where your data lives and which controls are in place to protect it. The success of any multi-cloud strategy depends heavily on how integrated your technology environment is. Ideally, you’ll want a centralized platform for monitoring and managing every online account, no matter the technology stack running beneath the hood.
#3. Enable workload portability
A robust multi-cloud strategy helps address three core business needs: taking advantage of the most suitable cloud services for the job, preventing overreliance on a single vendor, and avoiding vendor lock-in. For example, if one cloud provider goes out of business, the last thing you want is to face difficulties migrating the data over to a new one. You’ll also want to avoid the costly data egress fees, which many vendors charge when you wish to move data back in-house or to another cloud provider. To reduce reliance on any one vendor, use open-source technologies that allow you to develop and deploy applications that work in any cloud environment.
#4. Use software-defined storage
As the number of data-bearing devices continues to skyrocket with the rise of mobile and IoT technologies, it’s become practically impossible to manage physical infrastructures at scale. The challenge is only going to increase as well, with the number of connected devices around the world expected to reach 30 billion this year.
Software-defined storage helps you bring your data-bearing assets back together with a single management interface that provides visibility into your wider infrastructure. For example, rather than having business data stored on devices owned by your employees (or the business, for that matter), you can keep it in the cloud and reduce the risk of security compromises on lost or stolen devices.
#5. Choose the right partner
Smaller businesses rarely have fully staffed IT departments, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need the same level of protection and functionality that large enterprises have. Implementing a multi-cloud computing environment yourself is fraught with risks and complications, unless you have a highly skilled, funded, and well-equipped team at your disposal. That’s why it’s so important to find the right services partner. This should ideally be a local company that offers industry expertise and is prepared to accommodate and improve your existing infrastructure rather than encourage you to start over from scratch.
Complete Technology provides proactive IT support to help you get the maximum returns from your most valuable assets. Call us today to learn how we can help you build a multi-cloud IT environment that gives your business ample space to grow.
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