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Maximizing the benefits of a multi-cloud strategy

Digital IT Operations

November 30, 2022


Cloud adoption accelerates as businesses race to stay ahead in a constantly-changing market, thus catalyzing the growth journey. But cloud adoption is more complex than it sounds. Over the past few years, single cloud adoption has been giving way to a new approach that, in many cases, is more compelling. Enter multi-cloud – an approach gaining rapid traction among enterprises of all sizes across verticals and geographies.

By 2021, 90% of large enterprises had adopted a multi-cloud approach. By 2023, it will rise to 94%.

By 2021, 60% of small businesses were using an IaaS cloud platform. By 2023, it will rise to 79%.

By 2021, 75% of mid-sized companies had adopted a multi-cloud strategy. By 2023, it will rise to 84%.

(Source: Statistica)

This survey is testimony to the fact that today, a multi-cloud strategy is a go-to approach for most. Why is that? To answer this question, it is essential to understand the very nature of multi-cloud and its pros and cons.

So, what exactly is a multi-cloud?

When you deploy two or more cloud computing services, it is called a multi-cloud strategy. It can also refer to deploying multiple software as a service (SaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS) cloud offerings from one or more cloud service providers, including on-premise infrastructure. A multi-cloud strategy allows enterprises to use the best possible cloud for individual workloads or services. Whereas in a single cloud environment, costs are comparatively higher, and benefits may get limited to proprietary systems. Additionally, redundancy and vendor lock-in issues could also arise – situations that are best avoided from a business standpoint.

The differences between hybrid cloud and multi-cloud

A hybrid cloud consists of two or more centrally-managed clouds – private, hosted private, or public, including the architectures prevalent across these environments. A multi-cloud is the architecture existing in both private and public cloud services. It is essential to understand that multi-cloud is not an exclusive environment. Also, multi-cloud does not preclude a hybrid cloud, whereas a hybrid cloud can easily be a part of a multi-cloud deployment. It’s not a question of this or that – the decision is simply made basis of an enterprise’s business objectives. Instead of a single vendor, a multi-cloud strategy usually consists of a mix of major public cloud providers like Google, Microsoft, IBM, and AWS.

It is worth noting that many enterprises have a multi-cloud reality minus a strategy. In the absence of a clearly defined policy, IT teams can split the workloads on an ad hoc basis. But what makes a strategy incorporated into reality is the use of multiple public cloud platforms that work and can be managed cohesively as laid down with a strategic planning process. Yet, a ‘multi-cloud strategy’ as an industry buzz has been seen to be chased after at great expense, time, effort, and disruption without clearly defined reasons. The ‘why, what, how, and when’ need to be articulated at the onset pursuant to realistic goals.

Why should enterprises give serious thought to multi-cloud strategy?

Most enterprises operate in environments that differ in complexity, scale, and scope of services required. Then there are regulatory considerations to fulfill depending on the region. Others may be on different milestones on their digital or cloud transformation journeys, with requirements that are not fulfilled with a single cloud deployment. Given such circumstances, a one-size-fits-all does not work to the extent it should. With a multi-cloud strategy, these concerns are mitigated, desired levels of modernization are achieved, and so are flexibility and scalability. Even best practices are further enhanced by working with more than one cloud service provider. From a regulatory standpoint, country-specific data storage becomes easier and government mandates are successfully implemented.

Key benefits of using a multi-cloud strategy

Just like a single cloud, a multi-cloud strategy can help reap benefits enterprises can realize and maximize even more. Predominantly, there are 3 reasons it makes sense to opt for a multi-cloud environment.

Significant cost savings: By avoiding vendor lock-ins, a multi-cloud strategy delivers cost-effective cloud services. Various pay-as-you-go models give enterprises the freedom to mix and match and negotiate to price better.

Higher resilience and reliability: In stark contrast to single cloud, opting for multi-cloud providers for different requirements can help increase operational resilience. De-risking is a major concern that gets addressed since business continuity is assured by spreading the services across multiple providers.

Innovation gets accelerated: With a multi-cloud strategy, different strengths from different providers mean that enterprises can tap into a wider pool of resources and technologies. This boosts innovation to a great degree platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering from a provider that specializes in artificial intelligence and machine learning toolkits or a provider that serves a specific geographic area more effectively.

The devil is in the details – the flipside of a multi-cloud strategy

Sure, benefits abound in a multi-cloud strategy. Nevertheless, it is prudent to pay heed to the other side of the coin as well. Because the pros are known and hyped far more, less attention is paid to the devil in the details. These include the fact that most public cloud providers give volume discounts, where prices are reduced as customers buy more of a particular service. In light of this, enterprises find it tough to avail such discounts when business is not volumized with a single cloud provider. Multi-cloud deployments also need an IT staff with broader skill sets because moving application management into a diverse environment also becomes challenging. Then there is the matter of data security while being shared between different providers.

Overcoming multi-cloud challenges with Hexaware

Given its complex nature from a cost, technical and business perspective, choosing the right multi-cloud partner can be tough. But a good yardstick is to decide who provides the best services vis-à-vis cost keeping in mind the same parameters. You should also look at it from the lens of data as it constitutes a significant component and concern.

Hexaware’s Cloud Ops division is dedicated to helping accelerate business growth with digital business infra support by harnessing the power of digital IT operations that can identify, deliver and measure outcomes. We envision an accelerated pace in cloud adoption, thanks to our next-gen Hybrid Cloud and Multi-cloud practice that includes our Amaze® platform and our Tensai® platform for seamless governance.

Not just that, you get all the benefits of a typical multi-cloud deployment. Read more here: https://hexaware.com/services/digital-it-ops/cloud-ops/

We also fast-track cloud migration journeys with an Intelligent Cloud Transformation strategy that ticks all the right boxes. For a closer look at how Hexaware can help you overcome multi-cloud challenges and our proprietary cloud transformation services suite, please visit https://hexaware.com/services/cloud-transformation/


As stated earlier, enterprises embarking on digital transformation journeys need services delivered at speed and scale, business processes optimized and supply chains streamlined. They require simultaneous tackling of market dynamics and evolving compilatory guidelines and safeguarding of data and IP interests. As an ongoing journey, it does not have a clear destination, thus requiring newer technologies and services along the way. To reach digital maturity, a multi-cloud strategy thus becomes a key component in ensuring that progress is not hindered and long-term objectives of growth and innovation are achieved – thanks to a permutation and combination of the best possible platforms and services tasked from different providers.

In most instances, when it comes to IT spending, it is better to be pragmatic in approach, put your trust in the right cloud partner with proven industry expertise, and then co-design and deploy your multi-cloud strategy with diligence. Only then the transformation you seek will be the transformation you achieve. When done right, a multi-cloud strategy can save you significant money while measurably improving performance, reliability, security, and flexibility. If done wrong, it can be a CIO’s worst nightmare.

About the Author

Hemant Vijh

Hemant Vijh

Hemant Vijh is EVP and Global Practice Head– Digital ITO services at Hexaware. Hemant is responsible for managing and growing Hexaware’s ITO business with a focus on product management across Digital Workplace, Hybrid Cloud, DevOps, Ops Automation, App Ops, and Cyber Security Resiliency Services. Hemant has over 25 years of industry experience and has spent a large part of his career, 15 years, at HCL, where he was involved in incubating the Remote Infrastructure Management business. He has held leadership positions in technology excellence, practice P&L management, product management, and service delivery. Before joining Hexaware, he led the global product management function for infrastructure services at HCL. Hemant holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management. Along with his passion for distance running, Hemant enjoys spending time with his family and writing poetry.

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