SELECTING A BEST-IN-CLASS MULTI-CLOUD PROVIDER
Operating in a
What to look for
in a provider
The three biggest challenges with multi-cloud management
“By investing in multiple cloud providers, a business has more choice as to where they run their cloud workloads, giving them leverage to minimize any additional costs.”
Over 80% of enterprises employed a multi-cloud strategy last year. And even if the number fluctuates by a few points this year, organizations everywhere are learning that multi-cloud is indispensable — and with good reason.
At a high level, many organizations have such diverse application requirements and data needs that spreading them across multiple cloud platforms just makes good business sense. Each platform brings different capabilities to the table, and diversifying services can help organizations better meet their targeted objectives, whether it’s reducing costs, tightening security, or improving application and systems performance.
Yet, increasingly, companies are finding that managing the various and rapidly changing elements of their IT environment is becoming more time- and resource-intensive. In many instances, it’s beyond the capabilities — or availability — of their internal teams and they need assistance.
Nick Ismail, Information Age
OPERATING IN A
Operating in a Multi-Cloud World
Operating in a
The Three Biggest Challenges with Multi-Cloud Management
What to Look For in a Provider
How OneNeck can help
One of the biggest shifts making multi-cloud management more challenging is the rush to adopt software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. Everything from Microsoft 365 to Oracle ERP that were once software downloads are now subscription-based, with a monthly per user or “seat” fee.
The challenge, however, is that every SaaS solution — CRMs, ERPs, email, and more — will not necessarily run in the same cloud. For example, you might run Office 365 in Azure, Salesforce in AWS, and your email in Google Cloud.
As more services are deployed in each cloud, managing all of it becomes increasingly more difficult and complex. Every app, system, and solution needs a monitoring and management tool and may need to be integrated in some form or fashion. Optimizing workloads across clouds becomes much more involved and time-consuming. And ensuring that each deployment aligns with security best practices to ward off breaches or unauthorized access is exponentially more challenging.
Unless you have a small army of cloud specialists on hand, you will likely stretch the capacity of your existing IT team to its limits as they attempt to maintain the performance of your environment across multiple platforms and lose site of their focus to optimize or improve.
Flexible, fire-up-what-you-need model for effortless scale and greater agility.
Cost-effective alternatives to purchasing expensive and far-less flexible hardware.
No risk of vendor-lock in and related, sudden pricing or service changes.
The allure of SaaS is evident
It is a SaaS-y situation
You manage services and applications, and can't split up workloads over several platforms.
Increased system complexity, along with limited resources, expertise, time, and/or budgets, brings up an important question:
With critical data and applications running across multiple platforms, you need to ensure that performance across your hybrid cloud environment is optimized for availability, interoperability, security, and compliance. To do so effectively, you need to partner with an MSP that can integrate and orchestrate all your cloud services while also driving your organization toward greater scalability, agility, and cost savings.
But it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a one-size-fits-all approach. An MSP that can customize a solution to fit your organization’s unique situation, drawing upon both their expertise, experience, and the latest technologies, can help you secure, manage, and scale your multi-cloud architecture today and down the road.
As you take an inventory of your multi-cloud needs, this buyer’s guide will discuss some of the common challenges your organization may be facing as well as the key considerations when selecting a multi-cloud provider.
As your multi-cloud architecture grows, how do you find the right service provider to manage and support the entire structure?
Data quality and sprawl
On average, enterprises use 2.2 public clouds and 2.2 private clouds and almost 1,300 cloud services, accounting for roughly 80% of an organization’s data stores. In traditional environments, that data resides in siloed environments, creating huge visibility gaps that limit its value and use.
Worse, data tends to decay rapidly — at a rate of over 5% per month, or more than 70% per year — meaning that the longer data sits untouched or actively managed (which is the case when teams don’t even know it exists), the likelier it is that the accuracy, completeness, and usefulness of the information will rapidly decrease and undermine any value it had for business growth in the first place.
IT infrastructure is no longer just in one data center or another. The march toward hybrid infrastructure, prioritized by nearly 75% of global enterprises, complicates data modernization efforts. The IT perimeter continues to expand at a breakneck pace, enabling data to live in a virtually limitless range of cloud or on-prem databases, cloud apps, and user endpoints.
Combining all that data — usually manually or with limited automation — is both time-consuming and prone to error, leaving teams to choose between investing in data discovery and orchestration tools or simply trying to make due.
One size doesn't fit all
THE THREE BIGGEST
CHALLENGES WITH MULTI-CLOUD MANAGEMENT
"If migrating to one cloud environment expands the attack surface, multiple clouds magnify it even further."
Lior Cohen, CSO
The complexity of a multi-cloud architecture makes it much more difficult to maintain compliance — whether it’s with internal security policies, industry mandates, or changing standards and regulations. Although there was a time when cloud was touted as less secure, some cloud providers now have far better physical security than many data centers, sporting built-in intrusion detection, security operations center (SOC) audits, and multi-factor authentication. But even with these added security layers, your IT team may still lack the skills and know-how to secure every element of each of your cloud platforms.
And while IT and data governance policies are helpful for setting expectations and guidelines, you still can’t control what individual users do or how they act. In fact, Gartner projects that 95% of cloud security failures into 2020 will be the customer’s fault,10 not the service provider’s. The bottom line is, as the number of applications and human users increases, so does the number of system vulnerabilities and threats.
As cloud solutions take on a more central role in daily business operations, cost control and limiting waste become increasingly important.
Let’s say several different teams in your organization spin up a bunch of new cloud services to fulfill specific functions — marketing gets a new file sharing service, HR finds a resume screening app, and customer success turns on a new engagement tool. Over time, these tools add up and when a service is no longer needed, the team either forgets to retire it or somehow isn’t able to turn off those services. Your organization then spends double the money on redundant or overlapping systems that no one needs, and no one is controlling or managing.
Other hidden cloud costs are data transportation and bandwidth or connectivity rates, which most cloud providers don’t include in their published pricing models. Without an understanding of who needs access to what information and how they’re going to get it, your company may bleed its budget on egress and ingress charges associated with having data in so many places.
And if you’re not using an MSP to oversee it all for you, typical metered usage costs can quickly add up.
On average, enterprises run 464 custom applications in addition to common enterprise systems like CRMs and ERPs. Over half of those applications are used by internal employees and just over 36% by customers, partners, and suppliers. Adding to it, enterprises are also using close to five clouds — a mix of private and public — to run them all.
But multiple systems notoriously create data silos and visibility gaps, making it difficult to understand dependencies, integrate data across business units, implement new security requirements, and even meet customer SLAs. This is why companies are increasingly seeking single-source-of-truth resources that can provide detailed visibility and insight across the entire multi-cloud architecture.
Lack of visibility
Security and compliance concerns
Whether it’s the high-level business concerns that SaaS creates or your IT team struggling with everyday tasks and workflows, there are some common challenges organizations must deal with when managing multiple cloud platforms — challenges that multi-cloud providers need to be adept at addressing.
of enterprises lack full applicatioon and infrastructure visibility.
of enterprises spend more than
$1.2 million annually on public cloud.
It takes an enormous amount of time and effort for your IT team to wrestle with all these challenges while keeping your multi-cloud architecture up and running.
The right multi-cloud managed services provider supplements the efforts of your team and fills in skills or knowledge gaps.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
IN A PROVIDER
Enable effective and efficient management of your hybrid cloud environment top to bottom and end to end.
Improved data security and access policies.
Employ a mix of automation tools, advanced technologies, custom services, in-depth knowledge and experience, high-level support, and exhaustive analysis of venues and solutions.
A provider can:
Review your current application stack and make expert recommendations.
Top three considerations
Here's what to look for when comparing multi-cloud providers:
Much of today’s business success comes from being able to move and adapt quickly. Identifying which new cloud services your organization needs next to meet goals, or, conversely, which services can be retired, is one of the most important capabilities of a multi-cloud provider. This should be delivered through built-in tools, automation, and best practices that control costs and enable vast transparency across all your systems.
How does the provider enable greater business agility?
How do they address security and complaince?
Multi-cloud architecture creates gaps and vulnerabilities that affect customer relationships and increase liability. A good multi-cloud provider can help you determine the best security tools to monitor and protect your data along with any new or changing encryption needs. They can advise on using a SOC, as well as how alerts should be managed and who they should go to. And when you need to move additional workloads to the cloud, they can help you lock down user authentication and access.
How do they address security and compliance?
What level of expertise do they offer?
The number of customers a multi-cloud provider has successfully migrated to the cloud is important, and so is a deep expertise with custmers in your same business vertical. Both give the provider the underlying experience to better survey, understand, and offer solutions for your organization’s specific hybrid cloud environment. More customers also mean more referenceable clients who can vouch for the provider’s service and support.
And any provider worth their salt should further establish their expertise through thought leadership, demonstrated knowledge of the user experience of internal IT teams and stakeholders, as well as a broad understanding of applications, application uses, and dependencies.
IT teams oversee:
Provisiong & deploying workloads
Configuring, updating & patching infrastructure
Controlling user access
Managing latency & security requirements
Managing events, workflows & data
Monitoring data usage & quality
Overseeing batch, real-time & streaming data flows
Managing multi-cloud effectively is not about offering a prescriptive solution; instead, it requires a comprehensive solution customized to the specific demands of your business.
As your organization grows and changes, your multi-cloud environment will need to change with you. OneNeck offers the managed services and expert recommendations you need to ensure the success of your organization’s multi-cloud strategy and operations at every stage.
KEEP MOVING FORWARD.
WE GOT YOUR BACK.