4 Building Blocks to Construct an Effective Multi-Cloud Strategy

This post originally appeared on the Atrium blog. Authored by JOHN GORUP.

“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish,” David Foster Wallace said in his now-famous commencement speech to the Kenyon College graduating class of 2005. The fable continues: “The older fish nods at them and says ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?’ And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes ‘What the hell is water?’”

As with any good fable, there is a lot to unpack here. But one deep truth from this story is that our minds quickly take for granted what is all around us.

This story came to mind when I started researching the current state of multi-cloud environments. It wasn’t long ago that cloud computing was considered novel, exciting, and risky. Today, cloud computing is just “computing.” A new programmer in today’s corporate world might be asked her opinion on multi-cloud strategy, and her response might be “What the hell is a multi-cloud strategy?” This is because multi-cloud is increasingly the environment enterprises live in today.

So What is a Multi-Cloud Strategy?

As a basic definition, I think this is a good statement. However, the reason why an organization uses different clouds can be more complicated than the idea that some are simply better than others at certain tasks. Of course, a company may use Salesforce for their sales and service functions, while using Workday for HR and finance. But other clouds may come into play simply to avoid vendor lock-in, or because a company wants to build and use internal skills on a certain platform.

As for how common multi-cloud has become, multi-cloud is now the water IT professionals swim in. As a point of data, a survey Forrester conducted on behalf of Virtustream found that 86% of respondents described their organizations’ cloud strategy as multi-cloud. It’s easy to guess that the trend is only accelerating.

4 Building Blocks of a Multi-Cloud Strategy

1. Focusing On User Experience

Look for the right cloud mix by starting with user needs, rather than the features and promised future features of cloud vendors.

2. Understanding Data Management Needs

A multi-cloud strategy requires teams to be able to identify sources and significance of data and to be aware of insight-killing data drift. Data drift occurs when there are data quality issues that start skewing sets of data. Simple input problems from users or automated processes can make huge differences, especially when machine learning turns this drifted data into actionable insights. Girish Pancha has written a good introduction on data drift and how it can impact informed decision-making.

3. Using Data Economically

Coming out of the data management process, organizations should build a map of the most cost-effective ways to store their data. Snowflake, as a good example, is a platform that has been making waves in IT departments because it has made warehoused data more retrievable and useful.

4. Building a Center of Excellence Rather Than Mediocrity

With Elevate, Get Help from Multi-Cloud Experts

Learn more about Elevate and how we can support your multi-cloud strategy.

As the market leader in intelligent solutions, we help organizations make smarter decisions and act on them. Learn more at atrium.ai