For a long time now, enterprises have struggled with the need to store data and operations – a need that only increased as most businesses have undergone a digital transformation. Cloud computing was celebrated as the definitive answer to the 21st-century version of the same storage problem: with unlimited space to store data and applications online, cloud technology has quickly become mainstream and is widely adopted across the economy, with the number of businesses that make use of cloud environments growing by the day. Now, it is time to take a better look at the specifics of which cloud environment is better suited to serve an enterprise’s needs. The answer from the business world seems to be unanimous: multi-cloud environments are the future.
Multi-Cloud Already Widespread Across Businesses
The strategy of multi-cloud solutions seems to already be endorsed across industries – and where it is not yet adopted, research shows it should be. According to a recent IDC survey, 86% of businesses will need a multi-cloud approach in order to be able to realize their growth objectives within a two-year period. Another study among 650 IT professionals found that 77% of projected business strategies aim to implement multi-cloud solutions. Adopting a multi-cloud strategy has significant advantages for businesses, including improving their cybersecurity compliance. By choosing to store sensitive data in more secure, private cloud environments, while reserving less secure cloud solutions for less critical data, companies can make sure that valuable information is adequately protected without investing too many funds to host everything on a more expensive cloud provider.
Mitigating Cybersecurity Risks and Ensuring Compliance
By 2016, 82% of companies had already reported adopting a hybrid cloud plan, using an average of 1.5 private clouds and 1.7 public clouds to run applications. Of course, when cloud environments are used to host sensitive web applications, other cybersecurity tools like a Web Application Firewall (WAF) must be used. Certain WAF versions can be deployed as a mixed cloud and on-premises tool, or even as a cloud service themselves. The ability to mitigate costs by distributing load across different providers is one of the most significant advantages of multi-cloud solutions for businesses – and, according to the 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto principle and its several derivative rules), 80% of an enterprise’s operations and data will be stored in 20% of cloud services employed, while a varied approach according to the sensitivity of data and applications involved will have to guide decision-making about where to host the remaining 20%.
Cutting Costs with a Multi-Cloud Strategy
As more and more businesses fall prey to hackers, it is important to use several providers in order to have backup procedures in place, all the while being financially smart about it. A tailored approach is at the very core of multi-cloud strategies – but it also mitigates the risk of becoming too dependent on any single provider, thus avoiding vendor lock-in, a business nightmare that sees companies rework their entire cloud architecture when they decided to move to a competitor’s service. This means that you are able to negotiate better terms with your providers since they know you are keeping your options open, as well as choose which vendors are better suited for each of your needs – different cloud providers may be the best in a specific, niche field.
As businesses keep competing in order to remain ahead in their field, being able to better adapt to the digital landscape and knowing how to make the best use of cloud technology might just be the key to success.