The Silver Lining Of The Rising Multi-Cloud Environment

Savita Raina

Digital disruption of every industry has reached a tipping point, where growth is measured by digitally enhanced offerings, operations, and customer relationships. The more companies fight to gain a first-mover digital advantage, the more they find themselves in need of technology platforms that offer agility and seamless connection to drive faster innovation.

According to IDC, “By 2021, at least 50% of global GDP will come from digitalized offerings across industries. Investors will use platform, data value, and customer engagement metrics as valuation factors for all enterprises.” This finding speaks volumes about the need to adopt the right digital technologies and right business models to stay relevant and profitable in this digital age. Most executives would agree that the agility driving this continuous innovation is enabled by the cloud.

As companies look to quickly adopt emerging technologies such as machine learning, blockchain, the Internet of Things, and natural language processing, the marketplace is experiencing extensive disruptive innovation. IDC states, “By 2018, 75% of enterprise and ISV development are expected to include cognitive/artificial intelligence functionality in at least one application, including all business analytics tools. By 2019, APIs become the primary mechanism for connecting data, algorithms, and decision services distributed across digital economy value chains, clouds, and data centers.” Meanwhile, conversational applications will soon become a natural part of the user experience in most modern business intelligence platforms.

While most companies have been taking advantage of these innovative technologies, executives are exercising greater control over the technology they adopt – later contributing to a complex web of added headaches and costs for CIOs. Bimodal IT and shadow IT practices have quickly led to the proliferation of cloud environments across the enterprises driving both innovation and loss of control.

Many people may debate that such a multi-cloud environment is bringing chaos to IT. However, most enterprises and IT analysts have come to a conclusion that the multi-cloud strategy is going to be the future of the cloud computing and the de facto standard for Infrastructure as Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Multi-cloud strategy: What is it and why it matters

The very name “multi-cloud strategy” gives its definition away. Utilizing the combination of two or more cloud computing services, multi-cloud deployment can refer to the implementation of multiple cloud services such as IaaS, PaaS, or Software as a Service (SaaS) from multiple vendors. However, in the context of today’s use of the cloud, it also refers to a blend of public IaaS offerings from hyper-scale vendors such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and others.

According to the 451 Research study “The Emerging Role of PaaS in Multi-Cloud Environments,” multi-cloud environments emerged as “developers, lines of business, and other units within enterprise organizations have procured SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS cloud services to overcome resource and time constraints.” Today multi-cloud strategies are on the rise to encompass multiple cloud platforms. They have become part of a well-thought-out enterprise cloud strategy. The model provides flexibility and speed when choosing from a wide array of public infrastructures that meet many business requirements.

By transforming this multi-cloud reality from a liability into a pivotal strategy, companies can uncover competitive advantages such as:

  • Flexibility to choose one or more cloud service providers to reduce the risk of vendor lock-in with any given IaaS provider
  • Option to deploy different workload applications on different providers, depending on the cloud service provider’s core strength
  • Effortless entry into new markets and regions while meeting compliance and regulations

Winning in the multi-cloud: Connect, build, integrate, and extend

A winning cloud strategy of any kind is a balancing act of data security, cost management, governance, compliance, and access – all at the speed and scale the business demands in the moment. The right mix of tools, platforms, applications, and service brokering can empower businesses to mitigate risk, quicken access to cloud services, and improve enterprise-wide visibility.

This is undoubtedly the case for a multi-cloud strategy. When considering such an approach, businesses should adopt a cloud PaaS that addresses five fundamental requirements:

  • Connect people and data: Deliver delightful user experiences across various digital touch points, enabling enterprise-wide collaboration, visibility, and insight-driven decision making, leading to increased productivity.
  • Build new business models: Develop and run new cloud solutions to help business services engage customers in new ways to drive new revenue streams.
  • Integrate applications, data, and processes: Link your cloud and on-premises application together to eliminate data silos and make digital access simple, secure, and scalable.
  • Extend your applications landscape: Add new functionality to your existing cloud and on-premises ecosystem to optimize your current investments.
  • Adopt an enterprise-ready open platform: Develop, test, and deploy new applications in the cloud. At the same time, gain business agility to accelerate innovation continuously, shorten time to market, and respond to opportunities in real time, while shielding operations from the intricacies of the deployment infrastructure.

By folding these capabilities into an enterprise-wide cloud strategy, businesses can create an elastic, agile environment that moves with the evolution of technology and the ever-changing needs of customers and market dynamics.

Let’s face it: chaos creates a magnificent metamorphosis of revolutionary ideas – and this is the case with multi-cloud environments, as well. In everyday life, there is a continuous conflict between control and chaos. While neither side can be fully mastered, they can influence new ways of running a business better, faster, and more competitively than anyone else.

Accelerate your digital transformation with a platform that supports a variety applications and services to drive faster innovation. Read the 451 Research study “The Emerging Role of PaaS in Multi-Cloud Environments” to discover why a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) approach remains among the most comprehensive forms of cloud in terms of capabilities. Learn more about the emerging role of PaaS in multi-cloud environments.


Savita Raina

About Savita Raina

Savita is the Sr. Product Marketing Manager for SAP Cloud Platform and has +10 years of direct work experience working in high tech industry. She has a diverse set of experiences that span from engineering design & product development to pre-sales, product and audience marketing functions. In prior roles at SAP she has been responsible for defining and delivering audience messaging, value proposition, and thought leadership content for the IT line-of-business. Prior to SAP, she has worked at Proofpoint, MKS Instruments and Oerlikon. She holds an MBA from Santa Clara University and MS in Electrical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology.