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The business benefits of a multi-cloud strategy

A multi-cloud strategy is a powerful approach that allows organizations to harness the capabilities of multiple cloud providers. A multi-cloud configuration can be valuable for businesses looking to compartmentalize their workloads among providers that may offer more cost-effective solutions for particular tasks, like data analytics or database management. By leveraging different providers’ strengths, businesses can create a customized ecosystem tailored to their specific business and technical requirements. This strategy prioritizes flexibility, scalability, and resilience by distributing workloads across multiple cloud environments.

According to a 2023 study, the adoption of multi-cloud solutions is rapidly becoming the norm in enterprise technology. The survey revealed that 98% of enterprises either already use or intend to use services from a minimum of two cloud infrastructure providers, with an astonishing 31% relying on four or more. Similarly, 96% of respondents reported current usage or future plans to leverage services from at least two cloud application providers, with nearly half of them utilizing applications from five or more providers. This underscores the growing significance of multi-cloud strategies for modern companies.

In this article, we’ll explore the reasons to embrace a multi-cloud strategy, the business benefits of doing so, and touch on how DigitalOcean can be part of the mix.

Hybrid vs. multi-cloud

When deciding between a hybrid or multi-cloud approach, the choice hinges on the location of your business’s non-cloud resources. If it’s feasible and preferable to have an on-site private cloud due to specific security or configuration needs, then opting for a hybrid strategy is the way forward.

However, if this isn’t a critical requirement, a multi-cloud approach still offers advantages in terms of disaster resilience, compliance management, and flexibility. It provides these benefits without the added complexity and infrastructure investment associated with a hybrid cloud setup. For most small and mid-sized businesses, a multi-cloud approach strikes the right balance, delivering the needed flexibility and reliability.

Does your company need a multi-cloud strategy?

Embracing a multi-cloud approach offers you the freedom to manage your applications directly, enabling control over critical factors like cost, uptime, latency, and downtime, all of which significantly influence your customers’ experience. This strategy helps you steer clear of vendor lock-in, empowering you to discover the cloud products and services that offer the most value.

Of companies adopting multi-cloud strategies, data sovereignty (41%) and cost optimization (40%) emerge as the leading drivers. Additionally, factors like business agility and innovation (30%), accessing best-of-breed cloud services (25%), and concerns about vendor lock-in (25%) play crucial roles in shaping these strategies.

Your organization might find a multi-cloud strategy suitable if you prioritize:

  • Enhanced flexibility and avoidance of vendor lock-in

  • Ensured high availability to prevent website downtime

  • Robust data protection and risk mitigation planning

  • Optimal latency and load times for customers

  • Competitive pricing across cloud providers

  • Consistent access to network performance improvements

  • Adherence to region-specific compliance regulations

These requirements often demand a broader range of options and capabilities than a single-cloud strategy can provide.

7 benefits of adopting a multi-cloud strategy

Multi-cloud architectures, integrating public, private, and hybrid cloud services, represent a strategic investment approach well-suited for various businesses, particularly mid-market and enterprise-level organizations. By strategically allocating cloud management tasks across multiple providers, multi-cloud adoption can enhance efficiency, leverage economies of scale, and fortify the performance of your cloud infrastructure.

1. Choose from a range of best-in-class multi-cloud providers

Incorporating multiple clouds into a company’s IT strategy enables administrators to align their business requirements with the most suitable cloud hosting providers for each specific task. For instance, one cloud provider may excel in high upload speeds, while another may offer more favorable service level agreement terms. With this array of options, users gain a high degree of agility, tailoring each aspect of their business to a specific provider’s setup and execution terms. Rather than adapting your processes to fit a provider’s requirements, you have the freedom to access multiple options, each providing the ideal fit for different segments of your business.

2. Maximize savings on cloud costs

Opting for multi-cloud environments can effectively reduce your IT expenditures. Public cloud solutions involve fewer overhead costs and provide the flexibility to scale resources based on your requirements. This approach enables you to decrease the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) while optimizing the ideal balance between pricing and performance offered by various providers.

3. Avoid vendor dependence and lock-in

In a multi-cloud environment, you gain the agility to deploy quickly anywhere. This approach liberates you from reliance on a single provider, enabling the selection of solutions that precisely align with your business requirements. Consequently, it mitigates challenges related to data, interoperability, and cost that frequently emerge from over-dependence on a single cloud provider.

4. Guarantee robust security and regulatory compliance

A multi-cloud strategy empowers you to deploy and scale workloads while maintaining uniform implementation of security policies and compliance technologies across all your workloads, irrespective of service, vendor, or environment.

5. Gain scalability and flexibility

Multi-cloud solutions provide an ideal environment for processing and storing vast amounts of data, offering efficient automation and real-time synchronization. Beyond storage, multi-cloud also excels in scalability, enabling businesses to adjust their storage capacity in response to evolving demands. Ideally, multi-cloud providers work together seamlessly, allowing organizations to invest in varying levels of space, security, and data protection tailored to the needs of each data segment.

6. Leverage innovation driven technology

By automating the process of managing multiple clouds, businesses can seamlessly coordinate diverse workloads, efficiently handle hybrid workflows, and integrate DevOps practices to foster innovation. Automation plays a pivotal role in orchestrating data, applications, and infrastructure across various cloud environments, extending deployment capacities and enabling swift delivery of business services.

7. Improve your company’s advanced risk mitigation

Adopting a multi-cloud strategy offers another significant advantage: enhanced risk management. In the event of infrastructure issues or security breaches from one cloud provider, multi-cloud users have the flexibility to swiftly transition to another provider or backup to a private cloud. Multi-Cloud providers mitigate risk through redundant, independent systems equipped with strong authentication measures, vulnerability testing, and API asset consolidation.

Simplifying multi-cloud management

To maximize the benefits of multi-cloud architecture, it’s crucial to efficiently monitor, secure, and manage your workloads across all environments through a unified interface, similar to handling them on a single platform. Some of these multi-cloud management platforms include CloudZero AnyCost, Terraform, Lacework, and Cloudify among others.

“One problem with multi-cloud setups is the cost and complexity of making them work together. Many providers make it prohibitively expensive to move data out of their clouds. In such cases, multi-cloud setups are not truly multi-cloud, as people are unable to take advantage of what each cloud offers. This makes simplicity, support, documentation and an open platform important, particularly for startups”, said Yancey Spruill, DigitalOcean.

As you expand your use of multiple cloud providers, the complexity of managing your environments grows. Different public cloud vendors offer not only distinct features but also diverse tools, SLAs, and APIs for cloud service management. While managing each environment separately is possible, it often strains IT teams due to time and resource constraints.

Ideally, multi-cloud management capabilities should be seamlessly integrated into your cloud provider’s products and solutions. This integration enables you to gain comprehensive visibility across all cloud environments, track costs and usage, enforce consistent security controls and policies, and facilitate workload migration to enhance availability.

Getting started on your multi-cloud strategy

“Most people in the cloud are multi-cloud. As businesses retain more customers, become more diversified, and grow globally, they need more services and multi-cloud is often the most efficient method to scale”, said Yancey Spruill, CEO, DigitalOcean.

“While DigitalOcean plans to add more tools to the platform in the coming year(s) that are helpful to early-stage companies, we actually embrace a multi-cloud approach, believing it’s part of our core value of simplicity. If you think about legacy tech, these business models have evolved to embrace complexity and lock people into a hardware/software relationship. Cloud has enabled people to be more flexible”, he added.

Each cloud provider boasts its own set of advantages and drawbacks. By integrating multiple providers with DigitalOcean’s scalability and flexibility, businesses can harness the distinctive strengths of each.

DigitalOcean’s developer focus, cost-efficiency, global reach, and robust ecosystem make it a suitable choice for businesses implementing a multi-cloud strategy. By leveraging DigitalOcean in a multi-cloud architecture, you can realize the benefits of flexibility, risk mitigation, optimized costs, and improved performance while ensuring your business remains resilient and innovative.

This strategy is often employed to efficiently allocate computing resources and mitigate the risk of data loss or downtime. Small businesses, in particular, benefit from a multi-cloud setup as it empowers them to tailor costs and services by selecting specialized cloud providers that align with their precise requirements. This approach is preferable to relying on a single, larger cloud provider that may encompass services beyond the scope of a small business’s needs.

To explore DigitalOcean’s array of cloud services and understand how they can enhance your business, please take a closer look at our product suite here.

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