What Are the Best Reasons to Mix and Match Your Cloud Strategy?

There was once a time when organizations only had to decide whether to move their infrastructure to the public cloud or stick with a private network. In recent years, the cloud landscape has evolved in such a way that enables organizations to diversify their cloud models. Instead of relying on a single cloud provider, many organizations are utilizing what is known as a multi-cloud strategy.

This type of cloud deployment refers to the use of at least two cloud providers at once. Whether they combine software as a service (SaaS) with platform as a service (PaaS) or deploy several infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solutions at once, these users gain several advantages by mixing and matching cloud services from different providers.

Here’s a look at some of the best reasons to consider broadening the scope of your organization’s cloud strategy:

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You’ll have access to the best apps on the market.

Acquisitions are a constant in the cloud computing market. Big cloud providers are always purchasing smaller startups in an effort to continue diversifying their product offerings. As such, expanding your cloud strategy to include a mix of software as a service (SaaS) solutions from different providers can give your organization access to the latest and greatest applications out there.

APIs are mitigating issues with integration.

Mixing and matching solutions as part of a cloud strategy was once impossible due to challenges surrounding the integration of disparate platforms. However, application programming interfaces (APIs) have evolved to allow organizations to integrate apps from various providers and even transfer workloads across different cloud environments.

Today, cloud infrastructure providers utilize APIs that give users access to back-end processes and data. As such, IT teams can leverage these interfaces to integrate several platforms at once, allowing data to move across multiple clouds. For organizations without this internal expertise, integration platform as a service (IPaaS) solutions can help connect and integrate different physical data centers, cloud architectures, and applications.

You can minimize costs.

Cost is one of the greatest drivers of cloud adoption. However, many organizations are struggling to control their cloud expenses. According to RightScale, as many as 84 percent of enterprises find “optimizing cloud costs” to be their greatest challenge in 2019. These users are making it their top priority to reduce cloud spend and save more.

Mixing and matching cloud services is one of the best methods that organizations can use to achieve this goal. Instead of having to rely on a single vendor for every solution, which may result in higher costs, enterprises are free to pick and choose from the most affordable options offered by a range of providers. In this way, they can achieve a better return on their investment. In addition, having contracts with more than one cloud provider can give organizations greater leverage during negotiations on pricing, service level agreements, and more.

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Multiple clouds provide greater security than one cloud alone.

The cloud generally offers more robust security than on-premises solutions, but even the most secure cloud environment isn’t always 100% safe from breaches and other threats. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are prevalent, and they can effectively lock your employees out of the applications and data they need to do their jobs. If you rely on a single cloud, there’s a greater chance you could temporarily lose access to your applications and data if that cloud suffers a breach.  

In contrast, spreading your workloads, applications, and data across several cloud environments offers better protection from attacks. Not only does this setup create more points of failure, but it also allows you to leverage the security tools and redundancies of several vendors to protect your data.

Multi-cloud models offer better reliability.

In a similar vein, a mix-and-match multi-cloud strategy makes your cloud environment more resilient overall. Even if you work with five vendors that each guarantee 99.9 percent uptime, the odds that you’ll actually see any service interruptions will be much lower than if you relied on a single provider.

Additionally, a multi-cloud strategy can help you reduce latency. Developing a multi-cloud environment with a mix of providers can prevent lengthy delays in data transfers because the information can be stored in different geographic locations. In other words, you can store data closer to its end users.

You can avoid the dreaded vendor lock-in.

A multi-cloud strategy eliminates one of the greatest headaches of cloud adoption: vendor lock-in. When relying on a single provider, you may become dependent on their solutions or otherwise unable to end your contract without significant disruption. If you want to end your partnership because your vendor charges too much or their product isn’t working for you anymore, it may be extremely difficult to break ties.

In contrast, using a mix of cloud providers gives you more freedom to choose the services that are best for your organization. You can use SaaS solutions from one vendor and PaaS solutions from another without fear of becoming overly reliant on one provider.