Why Organizations Choose a Multicloud Strategy

May 07, 2019

Contributor: Laurence Goasduff

Most organizations choose to work with multiple cloud providers, for a host of different reasons.

For an enterprise using cloud services across multiple geographies, finding just one public cloud infrastructure provider to meet its needs is a struggle. In organizations like this, the decision to use a multicloud strategy is clear.

“ The 10 biggest public cloud providers will command, at a minimum, half of the total public cloud market until at least 2023”

In fact, most enterprise adopters of public cloud services use multiple providers. This is known as multicloud computing, a subset of the broader term hybrid cloud computing. In a recent Gartner survey of public cloud users, 81% of respondents said they are working with two or more providers. The dominance of megavendors in the public cloud services market is behind the main reason that enterprise buyers choose multiple cloud providers, says Michael Warrilow, VP Analyst, Gartner.

“Most organizations adopt a multicloud strategy out of a desire to avoid vendor lock-in or to take advantage of best-of-breed solutions,” he says. “We expect that most large organizations will continue to willfully pursue this approach.” Gartner predicts that the 10 biggest public cloud providers will command, at a minimum, half of the total public cloud market until at least 2023.

Download IT roadmap: Cloud Migration

Know the decision drivers

Multicloud computing decisions usually rest on three considerations:

  1.     Sourcing: The desire to increase agility and avoid or minimize vendor lock-in. The decision may be driven by a variety of factors, including availability, performance, data sovereignty, regulatory requirements and labor costs.
  2.     Architecture: Modern applications are, by design, created in a more modular style. They can span multiple cloud providers or consume services from multiple clouds.
  3.     Governance: To ensure operational control, enterprises want to unify administration and monitoring of their IT systems. They want to standardize policies, procedures and processes and share some tools — especially those that enable cost governance and optimization — across multiple cloud providers.

Benefits of multicloud cited by customers include better disaster recovery and easier migration for some data and applications.

Read more: 5 Questions to Answer When Building a Cloud Strategy

Why choose a single provider?

The most common exceptions to the multicloud trend are organizations that focus their investment in a single vendor’s technology stack. A few find it hard to justify the effort and cost of working with several cloud providers. It’s wise not to jump straight from on-premises to multivendor cloud deployments, says Warrilow. “There are many nuances between platforms, and trying to build services in more than one simultaneously is challenging,” he says. “Starting slowly also allows time for in-house staff to develop their skills and learn how to manage the cloud.”

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Recommended resources for Gartner clients*:

Multicloud: Why It Matters by Michael Warrilow.

*Note that some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.