Multi-Cloud Strategy: Challenges and Impediments to Adoption (Part 1 of 3)


Cloud adoption is becoming a common IT strategy among enterprises and government agencies. Creating a multi-cloud strategy when considering cloud adoption, in concurrence with setting governance structures and data security architectures is crucial. When implemented correctly, organizations are able to maintain their cloud instances in a single security architecture, securing the movement of data across applications, ultimately reducing cybersecurity risk. In Part 1 of our 3 part blog series, FI’s Vishal Deshpande explains why organizations need to begin to plan for using multiple cloud service providers, and what challenges they may face in adoption.Multi-Cloud Strategy: Challenges and Impediments to Adoption

What is a Multi-Cloud strategy and why it is needed?

Multi-cloud is the use of cloud computing and storage services from two or more cloud service providers for enterprise application needs. A Multi-cloud strategy is choosing to be multi-cloud by design. This series explores how establishing a multi-cloud strategy from the ground up benefits organizations, allowing them to integrate services from various providers while staying within the established data governance and data security controls.

Organizations today are already dealing with multiple cloud platforms and services in the form of Office 365, SharePoint, Salesforce platform services, and normally some form of managed cloud infrastructure. With cloud adoption and cloud-first strategy becoming central to organizations’ IT landscapes, many organizations are looking at multiple cloud vendors for their cloud resource needs. Organizations realize that each cloud provider brings unique capabilities to the table – some are better at the core infrastructure resource provisioning and data management capabilities while others provide better data analytics and machine learning services. Organizations are also looking to avoid vendor lock-ins imposed by a single-cloud stack strategy and balance the cloud costs by exploring multi-cloud strategies.

Wells Fargo’s plans to be a digital first bank revolve around multi-cloud infrastructure involving Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. Under the new multi-cloud strategy, Microsoft Azure will handle compute and cloud infrastructure for critical workloads while Google cloud will be used for complex workloads involving machine learning and big data.” – ZDNet

The use of gov-cloud and public-cloud environments by organizations can also be considered multi-cloud since these are essentially two separate and isolated cloud environments that can be provisioned under a single or multiple cloud vendors.

Organizations look to implement multi-cloud strategies for the following reasons:

Challenges and impediments to adopting a multi-cloud strategy

While organizations recognize the challenges that a single cloud strategy represents, they still delay the implementation of a multi-cloud strategy. One deterrent is the complexity of data governance and security controls required to adopt a multi-cloud strategy. Due to this, organizations currently evaluate integration of cloud services from multiple providers on a need basis. What they miss out when doing so is the application of data governance and security controls that they choose to relax for a one-off project. This leads to the concept of “Shadow IT” where business units end up adopting and using cloud technology stacks for their needs independent of the organization’s IT department.

While there are definite benefits to adopting a multi-cloud strategy, there are also certain impediments.

Despite the impediments, organizations still need to consider a multi-cloud strategy for their cloud adoption as there are compelling reasons and solutions to each impediment. For example,

Now that we understand the importance of a multi-cloud approach and the challenges associated with adoption, how does your company/agency go about establishing an organization wide multi-cloud strategy? We invite you to learn more by joining us on October 20th for part 2 of our blog series.

If you are interested in learning more about how FI Consulting can support your organization in developing a successful multi-cloud strategy, please email or call us at 571.255.6900.