Mutli-Cloud: The Future of Cloud Computing?

May 21, 2015 • Business
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Cloud Computing

The hype surrounding cloud computing is not easily dismissed, especially considering how many businesses are adopting it for their operations. The benefits of the cloud are by now well-documented, helping companies become more productive, reach news levels of capabilities, and save on costs in the long run. All of these advantages are impressive enough on their own, and cloud adoption levels reflect how much faith businesses are putting in the technology. As widespread as the cloud has become in recent years, we could be on the verge of another shift in the market, one which will gradually encompass organizations around the world in a similar way. The new cloud trend is to institute a multi-cloud environment. For many IT experts, multi-cloud represents the future destination of cloud computing.

Some of the recent statistics about multi-cloud indicate that this seems to be the direction cloud computing is going. A study from Dimensional Research shows that a convincing 77 percent of IT decision makers are looking at implementing multi-cloud in their organizations at some point in the near future. Nearly half of respondents in the study said they were planning on deploying a half dozen or more cloud services and applications. Based on these findings, it’s clear that building a multi-cloud environment by combining different cloud services into one platform will soon be the rule and not the exception.

Considering the advantages businesses gain from using a single cloud service, many may ask what’s driving the recent surge in multi-cloud adoption. Several factors play into multi-cloud’s rising popularity. The economics of cloud services is one of the major ones. Cloud providers have engaged in an intense price war where they keep cutting their prices to attract the most customers and undercut their competitors. While this may lead to some instability in the cloud market, it’s an open invitation for other businesses to adopt multiple cloud services without breaking the bank. At the same time, the availability of cloud services is larger than it’s ever been. Not only are there a wide variety of cloud providers, but each one comes with unique offerings. Another important factor to consider is the growing complexity of IT projects. Tackling these projects with a single cloud service has often proven too challenging, which makes the adoption of multi-cloud architecture a necessary strategy.

Simply being affordable and available isn’t reason on its own to use multi-cloud, of course. Companies have found multi-cloud offers various advantages over using a single cloud service. For one thing, multi-cloud gives businesses more autonomy by no longer relying on a single cloud provider for all their needs. That not only allows companies to have a stronger position when it comes to negotiating contracts, it also makes it easier to switch providers whenever they want. Multi-cloud also greatly improves an organization’s backup capabilities. By storing critical data and applications with different vendors, businesses can be prepared in the event of a catastrophe to keep their companies running. Improved business continuity will help in avoiding downtimes which, while less common than before, have been a major worry among businesses considering using the cloud. At the same time, multi-cloud allows organizations to test out new services and applications before using them for the entire business. By conducting these trials, companies can see if a particular service is right for them, which can in turn save a lot of money in the future.

Though multi-cloud provides numerous benefits, it has its own list of challenges companies need to consider. Using multi-cloud architecture is much more complex than using a single cloud service or even a hybrid cloud. Multi-cloud essentially combines different services, technologies, and interfaces — a combination that doesn’t always make it easy to use. Making sure all these different services work well together is a formidable task for any IT department. If companies want to deploy a multi-cloud seamlessly, they’ll have to take into consideration how all these various pieces fit together.

Despite the challenges, most organizations see the value of adopting multi-cloud architecture. The cloud computing benefits are greatly amplified with multi-cloud, and businesses can optimize their performance in new and exciting ways. It could turn out that the past few years of cloud adoption were only the first phase of a much wider movement. Multi-cloud could be the future, and many companies are excited to get started in it right away.

Alex Espenson

Alex Espenson is a technology writer with a passion for home automation, tech security, and wearable smart devices.

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