Once your company gets to the point that it needs to start considering the use of cloud computing, that is a big undertaking that takes a lot of time and effort to get started. However, deciding to try a multi-cloud approach will be even more difficult.
Whether you’re making the switch from single to multi, or you simply want to jump straight into it yourself, there are many things that you’ll need to know about it before making the switch. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the pros and cons of multi-cloud strategy. You should know what changes will come from a change like this, regardless of if they’re good or bad, which is why we’re here to make sure you are aware of them.
Pros of Multi-Cloud
Let’s start this post with the upsides to going multi-cloud. There are quite a few, and each of them is a compelling reason for making the switch.
Ability To Pick and Choose
When you pick one cloud provider and stick with them, you are limited to the services that they offer. Even if they provide best-in-class programs to their users, there still might be something out there that’s more suited to your company’s needs. Going multi-cloud allows you to pursue those other services that you think will benefit your company. Instead of being stuck to the “lunch menu,” you can go a-la-carte with the various cloud-based services.
The best part about this is it enhances a company’s ability to innovate its own products and services. Being stuck in a box never accomplishes anything. Having the freedom to pick and choose inspires creativity and new ideas that weren’t previously possible.
Gives You the Control
As we alluded to in the previous point, going with a single-cloud provider puts you at the mercy of that company. If they make changes you don’t like, but your systems are heavily intertwined with theirs, there isn’t much you can do to get away from them. This is what the industry refers to as vendor lock-in.
Multi-cloud gets rid of that because it will be much easier to move away from a vendor that you no longer want to work with. Plus, the fact that you have other providers that would be more than happy to take on more of your workload gives you some negotiating power with the company you’re having issues with.
Better Service Reach
While some cloud providers have data centers in more than just one place, going multi-cloud allows you to have a more expansive reach with your service than single-cloud could ever provide. Whether your cloud services are for your customers or your own company that’s spread across the globe, being able to strategically set up data centers close to your userbase is a significant plus.
Less Downtime Overall
Of course, extra reach doesn’t matter when services go down. While outages in cloud services aren’t common, they still occur. And if all of yours are based out of the same vendor, when they go down, so do you. However, if you’ve spread services throughout multiple providers, you can be rest assured knowing that your entire network won’t go down at once.
The last pro to multi-cloud that we have for you is probably the most intriguing one for any company interested in switching: going multi-cloud can actually save you money. While we would like to note that this system won’t necessarily be cheaper than single-cloud, it will be more cost-effective.
When you do your cloud computing through one company, you usually end up paying for services that you have no intention of using. This is a waste of money that you could put towards other services you’d actually want to use from other providers. Even though it might cost more to go multi-cloud, your company will be better off putting its spending into more beneficial services for your business model.
Cons of Multi-Cloud
Obviously, no business choice is ever going to be perfect. Every list of pros has to come with a set of cons. Fortunately, the upsides significantly outweigh the downsides, but we still need to cover them.
More Confusing Payments
In the same way that the number of video streaming services that exist in the consumer market can make monthly costs for families more confusing, sending your money to multiple cloud providers can become a challenge for your company if not handled properly. Every vendor will have different pricing structures, and some of them might fluctuate from month to month, depending on usage.
While systems like automatic payments make some of this more manageable, you still need to keep an eye on how much you’re getting charged to ensure that you’re not getting overcharged and that you’re not still paying for services that you’re no longer using. Plus, if you’re constantly moving data between providers, there could be additional fees that you’ll need to deal with as well. Even though you’re optimizing your costs through this method, it will make things more difficult for your financial team.
This difficulty also translates over to all levels of your company’s management. Processes such as assigning tasks, responding to problems, and backing up data will be much more challenging. Overall, controlling multiple cloud systems at once is no easy feat, especially because very few cloud specialists know how to use more than one or two cloud systems. That means you’ll need to hire more developers and engineers to work on your multiple systems. Then they’ll need to collaborate for interlapping processes between systems.
More Security Risks
Even though risks such as outages are easier to deal with on a multi-cloud system, security risks are much more difficult. Each vendor will have its own security systems that you’ll need to manage effectively. Plus, having your systems between providers interconnect opens you up to more security breach possibilities. While some third-party tools can help with these issues, they are much more challenging to manage as a whole than if you were on a single-cloud system.
What Does All of This Mean for Your Company?
Now that you’ve seen all the pros and cons of multi-cloud strategy, you might be wondering if all those upsides are worth the extra hassle. While we can’t say for sure if your company will personally be able to handle those challenges, one thing to note is that most companies that go multi-cloud are larger corporations.
Even though it’s not impossible for smaller companies to tackle these issues, it’ll take a lot more careful planning and patience to pull it off efficiently. That’s why we’d recommend that you check out some of our Azure infrastructure solutions before jumping in. Microsoft’s cloud computing program is set up to work seamlessly with many other services out there, so be sure to utilize what we have to offer before going multi-cloud.