As per a recent Frost & Sullivan's survey, 22% of enterprises in India are using a multicloud environment and the number is expected to reach about 50% in the next two years.
Multicloud has been there for a while, but challenges of interoperability and complexities have often dissuaded enterprises from large-scale adoption. Times are now changing, as enterprise awareness of the cloud has increased and organizations across the globe are moving forward with digital transformation initiatives. And needless to mention, the Covid-19 pandemic is now speeding up the adoption of multicloud environment like never before.
To elaborate, a multi-cloud environment is the usage of various cloud models including public cloud, private cloud and bare metal (co-location and on-premise); leveraging the advantages of each cloud model and enabling data and application exchanges between them. Usage of more than one public cloud through a single platform is also a multi-cloud environment.
“As digital strategies are being implemented to meet the varied requirements across applications and workloads, more businesses are using multiple types of cloud services,” says Kapil Baghel, Industry Analyst, Information, Communication & Technologies Practice, Frost & Sullivan.
As per a recent Frost & Sullivan survey, 22% of enterprises in India are using a multicloud environment and the number is expected to reach about 50% in the next two years. Of course, public cloud is the most used model as both large and small enterprises are leveraging it, with 51% deployment and private cloud deployment stands at 31%, enterprises are increasingly going for multicloud model to get the best of both the worlds.
There are several reasons why enterprise will opt for a multicloud approach, but it’s mainly for agility and to avoid vendor lock-in. This is especially important post-Covid-19, where enterprises need to be able to scale up and down as needed. For example, Amazon’s AWS rides high on its cost-effectiveness; Microsoft Azure offers a robust enterprise presence, while Google’s GCP is best in the field of analytics. With multi-cloud in place, an enterprise can benefit immensely from all of these factors, so that you can choose the cloud platform which best suits your needs.
A research from Gartner earlier found one of the most widely cited reasons for multicloud adoption was the desire to avoid becoming locked into a particular cloud provider’s infrastructure. Add-on services and deals driven by loyalty can be appealing, but an over-reliance on a single vendor is bad news if you want to scale and move, the analyst firm noted.
Source: Frost &Sullivan
As Daphne Chung, Research Director for Cloud Services and Software at IDC Asia/Pacific observes in a research paper, “With organizations gravitating towards a multi-cloud environment, they will find themselves increasingly dealing with the growing complexity, ensure integration and portability of workloads as they seek to achieve greater levels of innovation and business value.”
For effective operations and management of a multi-cloud environment, enterprises need to have a strong migration strategy with the mapping of objectives such as RoI (return on investment), TCO (total cost of ownership), etc.
Going forward, a majority of the enterprises should procure the cloud services through a Managed Service Provider (MSP) or Value-added reseller who can cater to most of the cloud requirements, believes Baghel, adding that one of the key requirements is to select your cloud partner smartly.
“The management of a multicloud environment can be a complex process as it involves multiple cloud models such as public, private, and on-premise along with the need of managing multiple vendors. The MSP can provision the cloud services from multiple vendors and help the enterprise manage the multi-cloud environment effectively,” he says.
Also, while it may appear that multi-cloud management is the sole responsibility of IT, it’s really about the entire organization and involves functions across your enterprise, believes Subram Natarajan, CTO, IBM India South Asia.
“Aligning everything within the multi-cloud management process with the company’s strategic objectives and quantitative results can help organizations understand the context for investing in the cloud and the value of its adoption,” he says.
At the same time, the management should create a team within IT to rigorously assess cloud vendors and tools on the basis of their relevance and performance.
The future looks bright
Despite its complications, a multicloud environment also brings a new level of efficiency, cost containment and productivity. Frost & Sullivan researchers say, cloud solutions market in India is expected to grow at an exceptional rate in the next five years driven by continuous migration of a variety of workloads and applications from on-premise to cloud environment.
The report found, in 2019, the market size was around $120 million and will grow at more than 40% CAGR between 2020 and 2025. Multicloud adoption is expected to more than double in the next two years.
They see it as a process that will evolve over time, with new technology and changing organizational objectives.