How a Turbulent Year Confirmed the Need for Adaptive Cloud Architectures

The turbulence of 2020 has shone the spotlight on just how vital a flexible and adaptable approach is for business leaders. This mindset is also apparent in digital architectures, with many companies choosing to adopt a multicloud approach in efforts to mitigate future risks and work towards more flexible solutions. 

Any loss in business continuity can result in an immediate and serious crisis for a company. A multicloud approach can help to mitigate the impact by avoiding vendor lock-in, adopting a cost-effective model, and supporting disaster recovery scenarios. Let’s take a look at the ways a multicloud infrastructure can support business continuity on the uncertain road ahead.  

Avoid vendor lock-in with the right selection of tools  

The ability to pick and choose a multitude of services and applications is one of the most immediate and primary benefits of the multicloud approach. However, vendor lock-in is still a real risk if the process isn’t well planned and executed strategically. For instance, if a company adopts a proprietary managed service - especially one with pivotal business importance such as data warehousing - switching this out to a new provider isn’t possible. In this case, the company would be forced to stay with the original provider unless they’re prepared to build the entire service again from scratch.  

To negate this, companies can put the same workload and architecture together using cloud agnostic, open source or private license options to ensure the most critical aspects of their digital business don’t face lock-in. Cloud interoperability can be achieved with good design patterns and architecture, which should therefore become a priority when planning a multicloud approach. What's more, an agnostic architecture and workflow offers companies a stronger hand during contract renewal negotiations.   

Survive a disaster recovery scenario  

Throughout the many external crises we’ve seen this year, it’s important to also consider how immediate operations will be affected should a company face its own disaster such as data breach or loss of service. Should a cloud provider experience downtime or technical issues with specific applications, the company could be faced with a damaged relationship with clients and subsequent loss of revenue.  

A multicloud approach spreads the risk across multiple vendors and reduces the chance that entire service models will be lost or put out of action at once. In the worst-case-scenario, back-up solutions can be delivered more swiftly by utilizing the services of other vendors in the architecture. Mission critical applications should have a near real-time replica stored in an alternate cloud provider location, ensuring that systems can get back online as soon as possible.  

Allow for an exit strategy on business pivots that don’t work  

As with past recessions or periods of great change, there are great opportunities to be had for those that take a gamble on a new idea, or pivot existing models to adapt with external trends. Yet, as with all gambles, these ideas don’t always work out. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a shot - nothing, ventured, nothing gained - but the risks should be mitigated as best possible.  

Mutlicloud helps to support exit strategies, ensuring that pulling the plug on business pivots doesn’t put the operations of the whole business at risk. For example, a new application can be built out as a semi-autonomous part of the infrastructure with a specific cloud provider. The application can connect and interact with the rest of the architecture, but the company can easily close off the contracts and services used for the new application if needed, without affecting the pre-existing systems with providers. In this way, new ideas can be trialed in a calculated manner.  

Keep cloud strategies cost effective  

Finally, as budgets are tightened as many brace for the looming economic crunch on the horizon, all departments need to demonstrate how their strategies are also striving to reduce unnecessary costs. Multicloud helps to do this by selecting the best in class tools from a range of providers, only using the services that are required, and scaling accordingly when the time is right. By building a lean architecture a high-quality service can still be delivered but budget isn’t wasted on things such as unnecessary server space.  

What’s more, if a cloud interoperability approach has been implemented with the strategy, companies can also use that strong negotiation hand to their advantage and deliver a competitive price point for their team.  

Business continuity: The new guiding priority  

Business continuity helps leaders steer companies through the challenges and opportunities ahead and negate the chance of any disruption to service. For digital companies, a multi-cloud approach can buffer the effects of these changes with adaptable frameworks and a wide variety of tools and services. Learn more about our approach to business continuity here or get more multicloud insights from our previous story.  

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