Running a multi-cloud environment is increasingly seen as the norm when it comes to enterprise IT strategies. Indeed, Gartner research shows that three quarters of medium and large businesses already have a multi-cloud strategy in place, with an average of 2.6 public clouds in use at organisations.

Working with multiple clouds is a sensible business strategy, but it also comes with risks. So what are the benefits and drawbacks of a multi-cloud architecture, and how can you bring your clouds together?

Why are multi-cloud environments growing in popularity?

Research reveals that the market for multi-cloud integration technology is expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 14% – strongly suggesting more companies are opting for a multi-cloud mix.

There are several reasons for the popularity of this approach. Whether you opt for public and private clouds, a cloud and on-prem hybrid, or use multiple public clouds, the approach brings several advantages:

  • Different solutions for different needs

Using a multi-cloud environment means you can pick and choose different clouds for your company’s needs to access their unique features or strengths. You might, for instance, want to use Microsoft Azure for content management technology such as SharePoint Online. At the same time, you might choose to use Amazon Web Services to host customer apps and services. A multi-cloud strategy lets you get the best of both worlds.


  • Regulatory reasons

Using a mixture of cloud environments can be helpful from a regulatory and compliance perspective. For example, a multinational firm that processes the data of European citizens might need to ensure it does this on cloud servers based physically in Europe to comply with GDPR rules.


  • Avoid vendor lock-in

Many organisations are keen to avoid vendor lock-in. Working with a variety of cloud providers means that, should one vendor no longer meet your needs or go out of business, you can quickly shift over to another provider without too much disruption. It can also help with contract negotiations – by showing you aren’t entirely reliant on an individual provider; you can get the best deal.


  • Cloud data backups

A multi-cloud strategy is also a good idea for disaster recovery. By backing up data in a third-party cloud, you reduce risks around accidental deletion and things like ransomware.


  • Store content in the most appropriate place

Companies often choose to store different kinds of data in different locations. For instance, you might want to keep highly sensitive data on your internal servers, outsource less important workloads to the cloud, then store rarely used content in a low-cost storage environment.

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Issues with multi-cloud environments

A multiple cloud strategy clearly brings many benefits. However, it has its drawbacks too:

  • Robustness

The more services and apps your company uses from various cloud vendors, the more challenging it is to string all this architecture together into a robust whole.


  • Security

With more environments to log in to, and more systems from different suppliers, your organisation opens itself up to greater risks of breaches and security misconfigurations.


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  • Data silos

Having company data held in multiple environments makes it more likely that data silos will start to form. Besides being a barrier to collaborations, silos also make it harder to do cutting-edge things with your data – such as using cloud AI to analyse all your content.


  • Overspend

With ever more ‘X-as-a-Service’ licenses to pay for, it becomes much harder to manage the costs of using the cloud. Paying many different providers increases your chances of unexpected overspend and monitoring all those subscriptions gets complicated fast.


To make a success of using multiple clouds, you therefore, need a strategic approach to this architecture. And to begin with, that involves integrating the different clouds you use and finding ways to facilitate the sharing of apps, workloads, and data between these environments.


How to bring multi-cloud environments together

If your organisation has outsourced processes and data to multiple clouds, there are three main ways of integrating these environments to get them ‘talking’:


  1. Custom code

This approach requires you to write custom code to send data between the different environments.


  1. Using the vendors’ own tooling

Many cloud vendors provide their own API’s that allow at least some data sharing with other public cloud providers – as well as on-premises systems.


  1. Integration platforms

A final approach is to use an integration platform. This software can be used to manage all aspects of sharing of data between your various clouds and on-prem systems. An integration platform allows you to coordinate which data or workloads happen in which clouds, and ‘tells’ them when to share that content with other environments.


Helping you bring multiple clouds together

As an independent cloud consultancy, FITTS fully understands why businesses want to use more than one cloud provider. However, managing the complexity that comes with using several different cloud platforms can quickly get very challenging.

With our experience of using APIs and cloud integration platforms, we can support your business to implement a strategic plan for managing multiple clouds successfully.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you bring your clouds together into a smooth and seamless architecture.