By Paulo Coelho (*)
It is a common mistake to think that multiple clouds mean the same as multicloud. The unstructured decision to move some systems to different cloud vendors ultimately brings companies an uncontrolled mix of different systems from different cloud vendors-but in fact this reality is not what supports a correct approach to multicloud architectures. Multicloud environments must be built in a structured way and not by accident or bad decisions; rather than an ad hoc integration between fragmented systems, multicloud systems seek to be supported by a coherent architecture that provides a single common control point for cloud resources in different environments and from different vendors in a structured way.
In a recent IBM study, where we interviewed about 113 leading companies, we identified that 73% of companies have to be able to move applications between different cloud providers, 82% need cloud connectivity, and 67% would like to have consistency when it comes to managing environments from different cloud vendors. These data show that managing multi-cloud environments is already a permanent concern for business, although market research reveals that less than 20% of enterprise systems have already been transferred to cloud environments.
Some companies find that they can overcome the challenges of having different cloud providers through a simple level of integration. To do this, they have to design and build integrations for each solution individually – a process that requires many hours of work and specialized knowledge. And even when the connectivity between different cloud providers and on-premises infrastructures is guaranteed, companies have to adapt to the different levels of operating system available, which creates a complex and endless management.
For companies that are now starting their journey to the cloud, it may be tempting to select just one cloud provider, and try to move all of their systems to that single provider. But managing environments with a single cloud provider is not by itself sufficient to eliminate the complexity of switching to the cloud: if the choice of a single vendor encompasses mixed infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions, platform -a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) services, each of these offers may still have to be managed separately. In addition, companies run the risk of being outdone by their business competitors who choose to choose the platforms that best fit their needs, provided by different cloud providers.
The best solution is to opt for a hybrid approach with multicloud solutions. Select a combination of public clouds to quickly develop and deploy private cloud applications to ensure high levels of security and data availability and critical business processes, and opt where necessary for on-premise infrastructures. According to IDC, by 2021, 90% of companies will adopt integrated hybrid multicloud tools and strategies to support different applications and different use cases.
But after all, why should you choose hybrid multicloud solutions? Because it allows you to choose the best platform for each of the systems, ensuring the best balance between cost and performance, in order to ensure the growth of your business. You also avoid being stuck with a single cloud provider, who may at one moment increase the costs of cloud services or impose limitations on their ability to grow. Multicloud solutions can also bring benefits to companies that have global operations to ensure that applications are closer to their actual consumers, or to ensure better performance or regulatory reasons: if for some reason a particular cloud provider is not available in a multicloud solution may allow the choice of cloud provider choice to be simplified and easier.
Since the beginning of cloud computing service, which IBM argues that hybrid solutions are inevitable. According to this same vision, we developed open platforms with well structured APIs that we offer to guarantee better interactivity between different clouds. IBM has developed technology and solutions that enable you to ensure control, visibility, automation and orchestration between different cloud providers and your own local infrastructure.
At IBM, we believe the future passes through multicloud environments where customers can and should choose the fate of their solutions and applications based on a structured architecture and solutions that best meet the needs of their business. We also believe that IBM, through its proven experience over its 100 years of existence, is the right partner through our specialized services in multicloud environments or through the technologies we develop for our customers to ensure that the adoption of multicloud solutions it's the right way.
(*) Director of Multicloud Services from IBM