Multicloud infrastructures are built using tools, services, and servers from a variety of providers which select the best-in-class features, reduce the risk of vendor lock-in, and swiftly adapt to change as needed. Whilst joining hands with a direct competitor might seem like an unlikely scenario, cloud providers are doing just that. Google has launched a Cloud Alliance and new partnerships with VMWare and SAP and Microsoft and Oracle recently forged an interoperability alliance, highlighting just how powerful this trend is.
2020 has certainly shown just how invaluable the flexibility and variety that cloud computing offers really is for business. From global lockdowns, to drastic changes in consumer needs and multinational business deals disrupting whole sectors, things have certainly not been business as usual.
Let’s explore how these changes can affect business operations, and how adaptive cloud architectures can support survival during turbulent times.
Adapt to a rapidly changing economic environment
2020 has certainly ensured every business leader is hyper aware of the volatility of markets. The coronavirus pandemic has not only spurred a surge in new digital services as brands pivot to adapt, but also slowed economies worldwide - the World Bank expects a 5.2% contraction in global GDP in 2020.
In addition, the tech sector at large is likely to see further change ahead as our reliance on digital is placed under closer scrutiny. With Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google currently facing Congress in the US, whatever new legislation that results from this process is likely to have far reaching implications for today’s major cloud providers. Any infrastructure that relies on just one of these service providers risks a challenge ahead should this happen.
These worldwide trends are also spurring companies to explore new global markets to remain competitive. Here, a multicloud approach ensures services can be swiftly connected to providers operating in the target location, which also serves to build trust quickly with new local markets.
In short, the ability to respond to external market, economic, and societal change in near real-time is crucial as we look ahead. A multicloud approach provides the flexibility needed to adapt quickly and avoid being cornered into obsolete services or restricted locations.
Deliver operational business change without disruption
The media sector has been no stranger to change in recent years, with Disney buying Fox, Comcast acquiring Sky, AT&T purchasing Time Warner and Viacom merging with CBS. In large scale mergers such as these, a multicloud architecture can ensure business continuity during the process. For example, with the majority of media services now delivered digitally, any disconnect between the architectures of the two companies will serve to increase the complexity of the project, ramp up costs, and affect the service that customers receive. However, with an open multicloud approach, the two architectures can be synced together with minimal downtime.
The finance sector has not been immune to the disruption of the pandemic either. Many major firms are exploring post-coronavirus partnerships in efforts to adapt. Multicloud can offer a helping hand here too, but any digital service in a sensitive industry such as banking or insurance will need to factor in the integration of local, private solutions in order to ensure security isn’t compromised during the process.
And it’s no secret that the retail sector has absorbed some of the biggest shocks of 2020, as customers switched to ecommerce sites in their droves almost overnight. In a highly competitive scenario such as this, the speed at which brands launch new products and expand into different markets becomes critical.
How multicloud can support business continuity
Although cloud services in general help to adapt and scale in these types of scenarios, it’s a multicloud strategy that will really help to weather the storm most effectively. Why? When under pressure in a crisis scenario, it’s extremely hard - if not impossible - to be certain in which direction the business needs to go. There’s not necessarily time to conduct market research or go through a thorough due diligence process on the best solution: simply making a choice and moving forward is the compromise many business leaders face.
Working towards a vendor neutral, multicloud approach allows businesses to adopt new service providers or scale back when times are less pressured and the true lay of the land can be seen.
In our next piece, we’ll dive deeper into how a vendor neutral, multi-cloud approach can help to mitigate the risk of business decisions made in a hurry, and how to utilize the best offerings from multiple cloud vendors simultaneously.
If you’re interested to see how we can support your cloud strategy, please check our Cloud Computing capabilities.