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17 New And Enhanced Challenges That Can Come With A Multi-cloud Strategy

Challenges that can come with a Multi-cloud strategy

As a company grows and its technology and data need to expand, adopting a multi-cloud strategy can be a smart move that comes with multiple benefits. Different cloud service providers bring different things to the table, and every business wants to ensure it has access to the bandwidth needed to give and receive reliable service.

However, a multi-cloud strategy can also usher in new challenges and exacerbate some existing ones, and it’s wise to be prepared for what could be coming. Below, 17 members of the Forbes Technology Council discuss some new and enhanced challenges that can come with managing a multi-cloud strategy and share advice to help businesses adapt and cope.

1. Managing Data Security And Compliance

One challenge in managing workloads across multiple cloud environments is ensuring data security and compliance. Businesses can prepare for this by implementing robust security policies, utilizing encryption and access control measures, and conducting regular audits to ensure adherence to industry standards and regulatory requirements. – Remo Peduzzi, ICR Informatik AG

2. Avoiding Data Fragmentation

In today’s business landscape, scaling your company naturally leads to an increase in the amount of data generated, processed, and stored, making cloud environments a necessity. However, this growth in data can result in fragmentation, making it crucial to take control of your data through automation and standardization before it becomes unmanageable. – Daniel Korogodski, First Bridge

3. Ensuring Reliable Tenant Access And Resource Security

Leveraging cloud technology across multiple cloud environments will enable business continuity in the event of downtime in any one of the environments. Two of the challenges l see will be maintaining access to the tenants and possible security issues. To prepare for this change, businesses should ensure that tenant access and resources within multiple cloud environments are adequately secured. – Nihinlola Adeyemi, ErrandPay Limited

4. Ensuring Integration And Compatibility Between Different Platforms

Ensuring seamless integration and compatibility between different cloud platforms is an understated challenge. With the increasing popularity of multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategies, businesses may find themselves using multiple cloud providers, each with its own set of tools, APIs, and interfaces—blending all of them is a gargantuan engineering hurdle in itself. – Prashanth Balasubramanian, Striga

5. Getting The Most Out Of A Multicloud Strategy

Taking cloud-native approaches to developing applications and incorporating good design principles from the beginning can help companies make the most of multi-cloud services. Instead of focusing on managing workloads, it is better to design applications to take full advantage of the capabilities of cloud services. Embracing containerization through infrastructure as a service instead of traditional workload management can be beneficial when serverless architectures are not suitable. – Brad Mallard, Version 1

6. Monitoring Permissions

In my experience, basic controls are still an issue for many cloud deployments. Monitoring permissions for corporate data stored in AWS, Azure and other platforms is a fundamental control that is often reviewed only annually. This leaves corporate data at risk if permissions are not set correctly. – John Bruggeman, CBTS

7. Managing FinOps

Organizations are on multi-cloud platforms to avoid vendor lock-in or to manage business demands (or sometimes even by accident). Whatever the reasons for a multi-cloud strategy might be, FinOps—matching the available cloud budget with costs across the divisions within an organization—is the pinnacle of all the multi-cloud challenges organizations face. CFOs often lack a real-time, “single pane of glass” view of the budget versus spending trends across cloud platforms. – Srini Gajula, Sage IT INC

8. Controlling The Cost And Complexity Of Collaboration

One problem with multi-cloud setups is the cost and complexity of making them work together. Many providers make it prohibitively expensive to move data out of their clouds. In such cases, multi-cloud setups are not truly multi-cloud, as people are unable to take advantage of what each cloud offers. This makes simplicity, support, documentation, and an open platform important, particularly for startups. – Yancey Spruill, DigitalOcean

9. Balancing Cost And Carbon Optimization

One challenge that comes with a multi-cloud strategy is trying to balance minimizing costs and carbon optimization. The pace of change and agility demands faster analysis of where to place a workload to minimize both the cost and the carbon footprint. – Travis Greene, Micro Focus

10. Supporting Both On-Premises And Cloud Applications

We’re witnessing fragmentation across the data landscape in terms of technologies, vendors, and use cases. Organizations can’t operate in silos anymore; we have to be ready to support applications that are hosted both on-premises and in the cloud. Only with common tools and approaches will we see the efficiency gains this offers, allowing us to improve productivity and spend more time creating value. – Jakub Lamik, Redgate Software

11. Auditing Infrastructure Security

When data is scattered across multiple clouds, it is vulnerable to data breaches. As cloud providers constantly add new features to meet customer needs, IT teams must continuously audit and manage their infrastructure to ensure their cloud environments meet security requirements. Some best practices include strong encryption and automated monitoring tools to simplify the audit process. – Parvinder Walia, ESET

12. Coping With Increased Security Complexity

While a multi-cloud strategy comes with many benefits in terms of the ability to use the best cloud service provider for the workload, technology, and cost, it increases complexity in terms of security. Since each cloud platform is different, cloud defenders need to learn multiple technologies, and they often end up using separate security tools for each provider, complicating policy alignment and increasing workloads. – Avi Shua, Orca Security

13. Managing Machine Identities

Managing machine identities is a significant challenge for multi-cloud environments. Modern workloads driven by DevOps, containerization, or Internet of Things devices often require an extremely large number of machine identities in the form of digital certificates or keys. Without robust management, oversight, and automation, outages, security problems or even breaches can occur. – Ted Shorter, Keyfactor

14. Optimizing For The Strengths Of Different CSPs

Companies using multi-cloud strategies or delivering cloud-native technologies must be thoughtful in optimizing for the strengths of different cloud providers, seeking out the best models for data storage, GPU performance, tightest integration with end-user suites, and, of course, support for security capabilities and tools. There are differences, and prioritizing usage based on need is critical. – Devin Redmond, Theta Lake

15. Overcoming Data Gravity

Data gravity is the newest challenge. It can make moving data between cloud providers difficult, leading to delays and complexity in workload management. By building microservices with high availability in each cloud environment, businesses can optimize data processing and storage for each environment, reducing the need for data movement. – Darren Person, Circana

16. Codifying Infrastructure

As cloud environments grow more complex, infrastructure and code become more and more important. Codifying your infrastructure means you can tear an environment down and spin the entire thing back up with the click of a button. By codifying your infrastructure now, you will position yourself well to manage workloads that span multiple cloud environments in a scalable and secure way. – Tim Mitrovich, Artisan

17. Managing Cognitive Load

Cognitive load is becoming more of a challenge as the answer to every question continues to be “shift left.” Where will enterprises turn to find employees who can set up and secure networks while also writing code and managing deployed applications? Some estimates indicate that developers spend 20% of their time working on infrastructure rather than writing code that solves business problems. – Rick Kilcoyne, CloudBolt Software

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