Once a company decides to embrace IaaS and PaaS public cloud computing they then face the challenge of deciding on a vendor, typically AWS, Azure or GCP. Traditionally, companies would select a single public cloud vendor with whom to partner. However, over the last 12 months, companies have rapidly moved to adopting multi-cloud strategies, choosing to work with more than one public cloud provider.
At DivvyCloud, we help customers manage AWS, Azure, GCP, VMware, and OpenStack, and this provides us a unique position to identify and understand trends in cloud computing. In speaking with customers we have identified several drivers that have led to the adoption of multi-cloud strategy as the default for leading companies:
- Mergers & Acquisitions. Deloitte reports that “Corporate and private equity executives foresee an acceleration of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in 2018, both in the number of deals and the size of the transactions. Technology acquisition is the new No. 1 driver of M&A pursuits…” Increased M&A means that companies are more likely to acquire a new cloud. Leading IT organizations are being proactive to put in place the people, processes, and tools that will allow them to support all major cloud providers so they aren’t caught flat-footed when a merger or acquisition is announced and they are expected to integrate and operate a new cloud tech stack.
- Best of Class. Developers want to build great products, and to do so they want access to the latest, best-of-class cloud technologies and services available from every and any cloud technology provider. Access to multi-cloud services creates an opportunity to innovate in ways and with speeds that would have previously been impossible, and this is vitally important to company success. According to IDC, “By 2021, at least 50 percent of global GDP will be digitized, with growth driven by digitally-enhanced offerings, operations and relationships. By 2020, investors will use platform/ecosystem, data value, and customer engagement metrics as valuation factors for all enterprises.” IT leadership at innovative companies are embracing multi-cloud proactively to deliver on the promise of self-service, dynamic, and software-defined infrastructure for developers while upholding the IT organization’s mandate for security and compliance governance.
- High Availability / Redundancy. IT leaders recognize that even hyper-scale cloud providers AWS, Azure, and GCP will not be free of service disruptions. They are building multi-cloud strategies that allow them to ensure that business-critical applications and systems are not reliant on a single cloud.
- Vendor Lock-in. As Forbes points out, companies are increasingly concerned about vendor lock-in and are proactively implementing a multi-cloud strategy. This allows them maximum flexibility when negotiating pricing and terms. This multi-cloud strategy also provides a modicum of protection against companies like Microsoft, Google or Amazon, who are increasingly entering new markets, competing against them. Companies don’t want to be reliant on a single cloud provider and be put in the position of delivering financial support to a vendor that is now taking business from them.
- Containers (and really Kubernetes). Developers love containers and DevOps love Kubernetes. Kubernetes is cloud-agnostic, and you can run your cluster on AWS, GCP, Azure, or any other cloud. The rise of containers, and especially the popularity and accessibility of Kubernetes creates a new opportunity for companies to now be cloud agnostic, and frankly makes it much easier to be multi-cloud and provides an easier hedge against vendor lock-in. 451 Research analyst Jay Lyman discussed this when he wrote that Kubernetes can “create a consistent developer deployment model across on-premises and hybrid clouds.” As Matt Asay writes, “Kubernetes potentially up-ends the idea of running everything in one particular cloud.”