Though studies show that more than two-thirds of companies today plan to have a multi-cloud environment by 2019, most tech professionals know that most (if not all) companies are on a multi-cloud system already. Often, multi-cloud makes inroads into your system in the form of shadow IT for each business unit, but sometimes it happens through complete happenstance. After all, cloud vendors can be tricky in their marketing techniques, offering free credits for storage and free trials for platforms. Before you know it, your business is running on multiple clouds, and you’ve started to lose track of where your data is and why.
If this situation sounds familiar, don’t despair. You’re not alone. Most companies stumble into multi-cloud by mistake and later find that they have a lot of systems and no real strategy. In fact, a recent BMC study found that 4 out of 5 surveyed IT decision makers say their current multi-cloud management approaches “need rethinking.”
For those of you needing to rethink your multi-cloud strategy (or needing to come up with a strategy for the long-run), here are three best practices that will help you understand and manage your current cloud setup, as well as plan for your successful multi-cloud future.
- Broaden Your Multi-Cloud Portfolio
You and I started this article with the agreement that your company already had too many cloud solutions, so the advice to further broaden your cloud portfolio may seem counterproductive. You may think that your best strategy is to start pruning your cloud solutions as quickly as possible, but, honestly, that may not be the best option.
Cloud services don’t appear out of nowhere; they usually appear as shadow IT. Often, employees forget to cancel free trials on software they didn’t like, but sometimes your employees are actively using the cloud solutions you’ve discovered on the books. Instead of simply canceling every unknown cloud service you find, take the time to investigate if anyone is using it, and then determine why.
If the service provides a compelling value proposition, consider keeping it on the books and adding it to a “self-service catalog” that employees can use to mix and match their favorite cloud options at work. This has the potential to improve employee satisfaction by offering greater autonomy, and it is also likely to reduce the proliferation of shadow IT in the future.
If one of your cloud solutions has a large cloud ecosystem, as Oracle cloud does, you’ll have access to a large number of integrated cloud solutions that will be easy to manage.
- Monitor and Optimize Your Cloud Apps and Infrastructure
As you’re discovering old shadow IT cloud solutions and implementing new services, make sure that you keep a careful watch on your cloud consumption. The cloud can get pricey, especially if you have your entire enterprise using cloud resources at the same time. If you monitor your usage you can not only optimize your performance and costs, you can also quickly identify potential problems (including compliance problems) and fix them.
Though it can be tempting to treat your cloud solutions with a “set it and forget it” mentality, it’s a smarter choice to monitor your usage so you can maintain optimal agility at all times and adjust your strategy in immediate response to changing circumstances.
If you don’t have the in-house skills to properly manage, monitor, or optimize your cloud services, consider a managed services provider (MSP) with a long-term cloud history, or hire a consultant to set up automation solutions that can identify key changes and react appropriately.
- Keep Up to Date with the Latest Options
Cloud prices fluctuate, cloud services change over time, and today’s cloud disruptors can easily become tomorrow’s cloud laggards. For cloud solutions, there’s only one constant: change.
In this fast-evolving industry, you never want to assume you know all the facts and you never want to assume you have the best solution for your needs. After all, something even better, faster, and cheaper may come out tomorrow – or it may have come out last week!
Because it’s critically important to keep on top of your cloud options at all times, it’s a good idea to work with an expert cloud consultant that understands your business objectives and can advise you on the many emerging tools and options at your disposal.
Be Smart When You Rethink Your Multi-Cloud
There’s a right way and a wrong way to deploy your multi-cloud solution. The wrong way is to implement as many cloud solutions as possible, without consideration as to how they impact your costs or operations. Many businesses, both large and small, have recently discovered that they already deployed their multi-cloud solutions the wrong way, but by following the best practices listed above, they can turn their “mistakes” into a competitive advantage.
Like all things cloud, your choice of vendor, cloud service, and IT services model is entirely your choice. The power is always in your hands.
However, as they say, “With great power comes great responsibility.” It’s up to you to make the right cloud choices for your specific needs and objectives – but you don’t have to make those choices alone.
For the past 20 years, Centroid has helped a wide variety of companies find and implement technology that makes sense for their organizations. As one of the most experienced cloud partners in the Oracle ecosystem, Centroid offers unique insight and integration opportunities for Oracle Cloud IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS solutions – so your company can be assured you’ll have the right solution for your needs, both now and in the future.
Many of today’s leading companies, including Toshiba, Subaru, and Overstock.com, have added Oracle cloud capabilities to their multi-cloud environment setup by partnering with Centroid. Learn if your organization could benefit from an Oracle cloud system when you contact the Oracle Cloud Experts.
Contact Centroid online or at (877) 868-1753 to set up your multi-cloud consultation with a cloud expert today.