In a 2021 survey, 95% of respondents agreed that a hybrid cloud is critical for success, and 86% plan to invest more in hybrid multi-cloud.
Hybrid multi-cloud has emerged as the new design center for organizations of all sizes. Rather than purchasing costly infrastructure upfront to accommodate future growth, the hybrid multi-cloud helps you scale up and down as needed and right-size your environment. Deploying data and workloads in this context offers the potential for incredible value, including improved agility, functionality, cost savings, performance, cloud security, compliance, sustainability, disaster recovery—the list goes on.
However, organizations must first understand and overcome various challenges to enjoy the benefits of hybrid and multi-cloud. Below, I’ll share some of these challenges, practices, and recommendations to help your organization achieve a more streamlined, impactful hybrid multi-cloud journey and realize the full value of your investment.
Challenge 1: Mindset
The cloud isn’t as much a place to go as it is a way of doing. When organizations move from on-premises to hybrid multi-cloud, it requires a shift in mindset and protocols—an important concept for organizations to embrace. Many of the tools, skillsets, and processes used on-premises must evolve to those used in the cloud. Your applications may need to be refactored. Your organization must adapt its way of operating to maximize the value of hybrid multi-cloud.
Challenge 2: Compliance
Compliance poses another challenge. Wherever your organization puts data, it must comply with industry regulations. Moving data later can rack up expensive egress charges. In advance, your organization must carefully consider where data needs to reside physically and how you will ensure compliance, maintain visibility, and report on your compliance posture.
Challenge 3: Security
The same is true for cloud security, which is always top of mind for organizations. Your organization must make security as robust as possible across storage, network, compute, people—essentially every layer. This means that if you’re operating under zero-trust policies, you need to understand how that impacts the hybrid multi-cloud model.
Challenge 4: Cost optimization
While hybrid multi-cloud can be incredibly cost-effective, understanding and managing costs across providers and usage can prove incredibly complex. Implement cloud FinOps tools and processes to maximize your investments by enabling broad visibility and cost control across hybrid multi-cloud. When evaluating cloud provider lock-in, tread carefully to ensure it supports your strategy as a business.
Challenge 5: Disaster recovery
Organizations often see disaster recovery as the low-hanging fruit of the hybrid multi-cloud journey because it eliminates a second data center full of depreciating and idle equipment. Because the way your organization handles disaster recovery changes, you may choose to extend the products you already have. You might add new approaches and tooling. Regardless, you need a plan in place before you make this transition.
Challenge 6: Dependencies
Understanding and addressing workloads and dependencies across your infrastructure is fundamental to minimizing the risk of issues and outages. Previous methodologies may not apply in hybrid multi-cloud, especially when it comes to common cloud attributes such as services and self-service automation. That means you must complete application services dependency mapping as part of assessment and planning activities. This work includes determining which applications need to be refactored or modernized to achieve performance objectives and operate efficiently.
Challenge 7: Skillsets
Not surprisingly, the skillsets required to support hybrid multi-cloud differ from those needed to support a traditional on-premises environment. Ensuring your organization has the right skillsets to support this work can be challenging. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the toolsets and skills needed, so you can put a plan in place for addressing training gaps and potentially supplementing staff.
Accelerate your hybrid multi-cloud journey
Moving to hybrid multi-cloud is a highly complex endeavor that, when done well, can pay off in spades for your organization. A successful journey requires careful, detailed planning that takes these and other challenges into account. The more challenges you solve on the front end, the faster and more effective your transition will be on the back end.
GDT has been accelerating customer success for more than 30 years. Our experts have helped countless customers streamline their hybrid cloud journeys, and we can also help your organization. Our experts provide architecture, advisory, design, deployment, and management services, all customized to your specific needs, providing you with a secure and cost-effective infrastructure that can flex and scale as business requirements change.
Contact the experts at GDT to see how we can help your business streamline your hybrid multi-cloud journey.