Multicloud Data & Analytics

Blog by Alaistair Jones07 Jun 22

An emerging strategic imperative for enterprise organizations.

Sometimes, the greatest benefit of developing a multicloud strategic plan is the plan itself. Consider the recent experience of a prominent Thorogood client. Executives at a large insurance company wanted to negotiate a better rate with the cloud provider that hosted their portfolio of applications, however, they realized that their leverage in those talks would be limited by a lack of competitive pressure. In order to secure the best possible deal, they needed to reduce their dependence on the vendor in question; they needed a multicloud strategy.

Enterprise firms across every industry are increasingly realizing the strategic necessity of diversifying their cloud providers. In a recent Gartner survey, 81 percent of respondents reported working with two or more cloud providers. Given the market dominance of mega-providers, and their integration of software development with server management, charting a vendor-agnostic network environment can be a challenge. But with the proper technical expertise and an objective eye, companies can develop a multicloud strategy that yields significant returns, well beyond price points.

Advantages of Multicloud: Maximize efficiency, minimize risk

In a competitive landscape where every company understands the benefits of cloud-based analytic solutions, the companies that differentiate themselves are those that make the most efficient use of their investments. Doing so requires an environment that allows organizations to match the best providers, with the best tools to create the best solution for a given task. Agile development requires a flexible environment. By definition, the most flexible environment is a multicloud environment – and also the safest.

As with any portfolio, an overreliance on a single cloud provider or suite of provider-specific tools increases a company’s risk exposure. Far beyond security and technical concerns, a multicloud approach limits this risk by improving a company’s ability to adapt and react in the face of changing business realities. The more reliant a company is on a single vendor, the more a company’s strategic vision is beholden to the capabilities of that vendor. Therein lies the challenge.

Challenges of Multicloud: Match functionalities, not vendors

There is a natural tension between a multicloud approach and the business interests of software developers and cloud providers. Any vendor would prefer to be a company’s only vendor and will operate with that aim. The challenge of navigating such an environment is one of the primary reasons listed by clients when they first approach Thorogood about diversifying their cloud environment. In order to formulate a superlative multicloud strategy, a company must take an objective approach that prioritizes its specific business questions over the interest of vendors. Doing so not only requires a comprehensive understanding of technical specs and vendor offerings, but also the ability to marry them with a company’s needs.

Wisdom of a multicloud approach: Functionality with optionality

In three decades of serving some of the world’s most prominent enterprise firms, Thorogood consultants have seen first-hand the competitive advantages available to a company with a thoughtful approach to application management. Increasingly, such an approach requires a mixture of tools that incorporates multiple different vendors. From platform-agnostic tools like Databricks and Snowflake to vendor-specific tools like Tableau and Qlik, analytics-minded firms have access to a vast array of options for building an optimal, data-driven environment. While the proper mix of software and architecture depends on a company’s specific business needs, the wisdom of a multicloud approach is as old as time. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

To find out more about how a multicloud strategy could benefit your organization, reach out to Alaistair Jones.

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Contact Alaistair Jones. Alaistair is a Data & AI Consultant at Thorogood based in the UK.