Organizations, operating across multiple geographies regularly face the challenge of finding a singular public cloud service provider. In such scenarios, multi-cloud becomes the go-to-cloud strategy for businesses.
In fact, most enterprise adopters of public cloud services use multiple providers. This is known as multi-cloud computing, a subset of the broader term hybrid cloud computing.In a recent Gartner survey of public cloud users, 81% of respondents said they are working with two or more providers.
The dominance of mega vendors in the public cloud services market is behind the main reason that enterprise buyers choose multiple cloud providers. Most organisations adopt a multi-cloud strategy out of a desire to avoid vendor lock-in or to take advantage of best-of-breed solutions. Most large organizations are expected to continue to willfully pursue this approach.
Gartner predicts that the 10 biggest public cloud providers will command, at a minimum. This is half of the total public cloud market until at least 2023.
The decision drivers for multi-cloud computing rest on three considerations:
- Sourcing: The desire to increase agility and avoid or minimize vendor lock-in. A variety of factors, including availability, performance, data sovereignty, regulatory requirements and labor costs drive the decision.
- Architecture: Modern applications are, by design, created in a more modular style. They can span multiple cloud providers or consume services from multiple clouds.
- Governance: To ensure operational control, organizations want to unify administration and monitoring of their IT systems. They want to standardize policies, procedures and processes and share tools. This enables cost governance and optimization across multiple cloud providers.
Why organizations choose a single provider?
The most common exceptions to the multi-cloud trend are organisations that focus their investment in a single vendor’s technology stack. A few find it hard to justify the effort and cost of working with several cloud providers.
It’s wise not to jump straight from on-premises to multi-vendor cloud deployments. There are many nuances between platforms. Hence trying to build services in more than one is challenging at the same time. Starting slowly allows time for in-house staff to develop their skills and learn how to manage the cloud.
(The author Michael Warrilow is Research VP, Gartner)