The diversity and variety of cloud offerings can present IT management with unexpected challenges. Here's what to consider for a successful multi-cloud strategy....
The diversity of cloud offerings is increasing every day. In the process, companies rely on a wide variety of providers when deploying the available services.
The result: a general store of diverse software, applications and platforms that rely on different hosting technologies. The associated service landscape is just as colorful as the resulting solution portfolio. This complexity increases with each additional cloud service.
The challenge of managing such a historically grown diversity and variety is high and can only be met with an overarching multi-cloud strategy. IT decision-makers should therefore ask themselves the following questions before deciding on a cloud service:
Does the cloud service fit into the overall concept at hand?
The integration of new cloud services only adds value if the service fits sensibly into the existing cloud landscape and business processes. Integration into existing corporate processes is a key factor, not only in terms of acceptance of the service within the company, but also in terms of efficiency and added value. A cloud service should either replace an outdated service or fill an existing gap. However, if the service is only placed as "another alternative", the potential of an overall cloud system with added value is wasted.
Therefore, it should be carefully examined whether the new cloud service fits into the existing structure.
Do the cloud service provider's services fit the requirements profile?
From small startups to well-known software houses - the list of service providers is long. The service packages of the providers are correspondingly diverse.
When deciding on a cloud service, the service offering of the provider should therefore be examined:
- What services can I claim over what period of use and to what extent?
- What security is offered to me: Are security and compliance guidelines adhered to?
- Will I be offered additional services such as monitoring, back-up and recovery?
- What SLAs are offered?
Especially for smaller cloud providers and startups, the risk of market exit should be evaluated.
Instead of gut decisions, value should be placed here on a well thought-out provider selection in order to find suitable, trustworthy providers and solutions.
Do I tie myself to a vendor by using the cloud service? Am I entering into a "vendor lock-in"?
Some cloud providers want to bind their customers by means of a "vendor lock-in". This creates a dependency that can be dangerous. The software basis of some providers alone leads to a vendor lock-in. This is particularly sensitive for data stored with the selected provider, which cannot always be easily connected with services from other providers. The greater the dependency, the greater the impact on performance and compatibility.
Can access to the service be managed centrally?
As the number of applications increases, so does the complexity of managing access rights. This is especially true if the service is accessed not only by the company's own employees, but also by customers or partners. A new service should fit as easily as possible into the existing system for identifying and assigning rights.
Cloud services have the attraction that they are quickly available and can be used immediately. However, even in the cloud age, it remains necessary to see the overall construct and to have dealt with the most important questions and parameters before using a service. In this way, the system of different cloud services remains to be managed in the future.