The Biggest Challenges to Implementing Multi-Cloud

Implementing a multi-cloud strategy has its benefits: speed to market, flexibility, scalability, risk mitigation and greater operational efficiencies come to mind. However, managing more than one cloud technology isn’t always easy. The biggest roadblocks I’ve experienced impacting businesses today in their journey to multi-cloud nirvana are:

Resource constraints – According to the RightScale 2016 State of the Cloud Report, lack of resources/expertise is now the number one cloud challenge (cited by 32 percent of companies), replacing security as the top inhibitor for adoption. Many (if not most) companies simply don’t have the staff internally to manage their infrastructure and those that do have typically invested in upskilling their staff in one particular flavour. This problem is then compounded by the fact that many cloud services emerge through shadow IT, meaning no consistency with the cloud policy, assuming one existed in the first place.

Different portals and processes – Navigating a cloud providers portal is usually straightforward enough, but multiple provider portals mean managing them independently. This becomes exponentially complex with the more platforms that need to be supported. There are multi-cloud management platforms available, which can help to manage complex multi-cloud environments, but these can be expensive. The alternative? Investment in training or additional staff to handle the operational overhead.

Compliance – Let’s face it: providers offer services which just aren’t capable of meeting some compliance requirements. For instance, in a public cloud environment, you may not know where your data is or where your applications are being hosted from. Do your cloud provider’s disaster recovery locations meet your compliance obligations too? Data sovereignty is becoming a hotter and hotter topic, particularly in light of the GDPR legislation about to take effect in May 2018, leaving companies that fail to obey open to penalties of up to €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover … whichever is greater.

Procurement, accounting and billing – In the situation procurement departments must obtain a certain number of bids before approving the purchase, multi-cloud becomes a problem in that not all cloud providers offer the same pricing model and services. Even once the procurement stage is complete, organisations need to manage complex billing and accounting models which support the different pricing models and usage. Again, there are cloud management portals that can assist with this, but they may not cover all the cloud partners you wish to use. Enlisting the support of a multi-cloud provider can better enable your organisation to leverage the benefits of a multi-cloud solution and avoid the pitfalls outlined above. Get in touch today to speak to one of our team about how we can support you in the cloud.

If you’re looking for consultancy services to help design your own IT business processes, contact Starboard IT to find out what we can do for you.

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