According to Cloudways, 94% of all businesses use cloud services and 48% store sensitive customer or business information in the cloud. Businesses, both large and small, are leveraging cloud technology to power their operations. But is a multi-cloud environment the best approach? Here are some of the key issues to consider.
What is multi-cloud?
A multi-cloud strategy is one where a business uses two or more cloud computing services from different vendors. These services can span Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), or Software as a Service (SaaS). While this strategy provides flexibility and reduces dependency on a single provider, it can also present numerous challenges.
How does a multi-cloud environment create problematic complexity for your business?
Complexity is the primary challenge associated with a multi-cloud environment. Each cloud platform comes with its unique set of tools, APIs, services, and interfaces. Operating in a multi-cloud environment means your IT team needs to familiarise themselves with each of these different ecosystems. This requirement can lead to time-consuming training, which could otherwise be spent improving your business operations.
Moreover, integrating and managing these different platforms can be a daunting task. Each has its unique operational characteristics; getting them to “talk” to one another smoothly requires a high degree of expertise and can lead to operational inefficiencies.
What are the security risks of a multi-cloud environment?
The more cloud platforms you use, the larger your attack surface becomes. Each platform has its unique security protocols and settings; configuring them correctly to ensure optimal security is a significant challenge.
In addition, managing and monitoring these disparate systems can be difficult, leading to potential blind spots where cybercriminals can exploit vulnerabilities. Lastly, the need to control user access across multiple platforms can lead to potential identity and access management issues, increasing the risk of unauthorised access.
What are the cost implications of a multi-cloud environment?
While using multiple clouds might seem like a good way to prevent vendor lock-in and potentially get the best deal on specific services, it can end up being more costly. Each cloud provider has its unique pricing structure, making it challenging to optimise costs across platforms.
Moreover, the extra resources required for management, integration, and security for multiple clouds can add to the overall costs. Also, your organisation might miss out on volume discounts that could be obtained by consolidating your services with a single provider.
How does a multi-cloud environment affect compliance and data security?
A multi-cloud environment complicates compliance and data security due to the different privacy and security policies of each provider. Navigating through these different requirements to ensure data compliance across different jurisdictions can be a complex and resource-intensive process.
Moreover, maintaining data integrity across multiple platforms can be difficult, increasing the risk of data breaches and losses, with potential legal and reputational repercussions.
What is the best way to consolidate your business’s use of cloud technology?
Consolidating your use of cloud technology involves identifying and focusing on a single cloud provider that best meets your business needs. This approach reduces the complexity and security risks associated with managing multiple cloud environments.
The key to successful consolidation is careful planning. Evaluate the specific needs of your business, assess the strengths and weaknesses of different cloud providers, and choose one that aligns best with your operational needs, security requirements, and budget.
Consider also working with a professional cloud service provider or IT consultant. They can help guide your decision, assist in the migration process, and ensure a smooth transition. At help4IT, our project managers and engineers have extensive experience in helping organisations of all sizes to move to migrate to cloud environments or consolidate their existing multi-cloud set-up. Get in touch with our team to discuss how we can assist you.
In conclusion, while a multi-cloud environment offers the allure of flexibility, the complexities, costs, and security risks associated with managing multiple cloud platforms can outweigh these benefits. Consolidation can streamline operations, improve security, reduce costs, and ease compliance concerns, making it a strategy well worth considering for many businesses.