One cloud does not a cloud make

In many cases, a multi-cloud strategy is extremely important for companies. They save costs and respond more quickly to changes in the cloud market or to legislation and regulations. Research also shows, however, that IT decision-makers have difficulty implementing such a strategy.

It has now been searching with a magnifying glass for companies that do not (yet) have a cloud environment. Research among IT decision-makers carried out by Kantar TNS on behalf of MatrixMind shows that 93 percent of companies now have a cloud environment. Of the remaining 7%, another half expect to migrate to the cloud in the coming year. The cloud has become de facto standard, that much is clear. The huge supply of cloud products reflects this popularity. There is a lot to choose from, with each provider having its own advantages. And because workloads are different for different customers, a one-size-fits-all approach for the cloud is not recommended either. More and more companies are also recognizing this.

Quality decisive

Half of the companies have two or more cloud providers. In many cases, this involves a combination of public and private clouds, with the most popular being the latest variant. Freedom of choice is important here for companies. They mainly cite the quality of the service as the decisive reason for choosing a supplier. However, complying with legislation and regulations is also important, for example with regard to the data location. And, because we’re Dutch after all, the price is of course also important. If changes take place in these (or other) areas, no one wants to be stuck with one supplier.

Most IT decision-makers (93 percent) are more or less concerned about lock-in scenarios, one in five of whom are either very worried or extremely concerned about them. Three out of ten also believe that there is a (very) high chance that there will be situations in which cloud provider A will be better able to meet the applicable laws and regulations for the organization than cloud provider B. The survey explores five cloud propositions in more detail: Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle Cloud and IBM Cloud. Azure appeared to have the best funnel, half of all respondents are currently customers. The rest of the providers have mainly conversion problems compared to Azure. According to the IT decision-makers, Microsoft offers Azure the best quality solutions in IaaS and hybrid implementations. Google Cloud Platform is again the preferred platform for open source and IoT solutions.

Major savings possible

Against this backdrop, it is no strange to see that there is a great deal of interest in a multi-cloud strategy. Six out of ten IT managers consider such a strategy to be fairly or even extremely important for the future of their own IT organization. This puts multi-cloud on the same level as a hybrid cloud strategy, something to which the interviewees attach the same importance. Quality of service, compliance and cost savings are reasons to opt for multi-cloud. An overwhelming majority (86 percent) thinks that they can cut costs with a multi-cloud strategy; a quarter of those surveyed even think that costs are high or very high. Nonetheless, only one in three companies uses the strategy.

Seeing is believing when it comes to multi-cloud, it turns out. Of the companies that do not yet have a multi-cloud strategy in place, but have focused on it, 87 percent have taken the decision to take the step. At the same time, there is the question why, if the case for multi-cloud is so convincing, so many companies have not yet succeeded in implementing a multi-cloud strategy. According to the IT decision-makers, legislation and regulations in particular are a stand-in approach, followed by technical incompatibility. Whether this is really the case, or is mainly due to fear, is a second. For 44 percent of IT decision-makers, the organizational and technical implications are not clear. This may explain why 42 percent see a multi-cloud strategy as a high to very high risk. A logical next step would be to invest in knowledge and expertise to quickly be ready for multi-cloud.