Cloud computing is no longer new technology; more businesses than ever are using cloud services to store data and run software applications. However, now we have multi-cloud, a new layer of cloud computing SMEs and startups can use to their advantage.
What is Multi-Cloud?
Unlike hybrid cloud, which uses both public and private services that are all integrated in some way, multi-cloud refers to the strategy of employing two or more cloud services from different vendors. Utilizing multi-cloud is becoming more common among smaller businesses as they look for budget-friendly ways to implement and improve performance and security.
The vendors used in multi-cloud are often a combination of public IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) environments, such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and AWS (Amazon Web Services).
Most enterprises have more than one workload and use a cloud environment to run 32% of these workloads. Using multiple cloud services lets businesses distribute software applications and data across more than one platform to minimize the risk and potential problems that exist when dealing with a single cloud service.
Here are the 7 top reasons why small businesses should consider using multi-cloud.
1. Increased Security
Using more than one cloud vendor provides you with optimum security and disaster backup recovery. Data and workloads can be put into different cloud platforms, which can be helpful when you need to put data in a cloud center that’s in compliance with data security regulations.
The architecture of multiple cloud vendors also lowers the risk of DDoS attacks. If a denial of service attack does occur, the affected services can be moved to another cloud environment. For additional support and security, businesses can rely on IT support services, from cloud computing to disaster recovery to assist with keeping their business data safe and secure.
2. Control Costs
One of the main concerns for SMEs is the cost of using cloud services, where pricing can get complicated. Businesses use all types of applications for their operations, with 89% of companies using SaaS. Not only do they need to make decisions about what SaaS are best for their needs, businesses need to choose from a wide range of services, data location centers, and pricing options. Multi-cloud lets enterprises control their costs and stay on budget.
By comparing prices, they can then choose to use vendors with the best rates based on their own unique IT specifications and needs. Users aren’t limited to the terms of a single cloud provider, which means they can select a multi-cloud team of vendors with the right rates, contracts, and services.
3. Flexibility With Vendors
The requirements of any business are changing all the time and need to be scalable. A service you’re using today may not be necessary or applicable tomorrow. Additionally, vendors are adding new features and applications all the time and modifying their rates to reflect these upgrades.
Using multi-cloud gives businesses the flexibility to switch vendors and services when they find an option that’s more cost effective and beneficial for their business and IT needs. Instead of adapting your business processes to fit into the requirements and parameters of one service provider, you can find one that matches each of those processes, taking advantage of several vendor services. This allows SMEs to boost their productivity and functionality by researching vendors and finding the best match.
4. Avoid Vendor Lock-In
When you use only one public cloud vendor, you become solely reliant on their services alone and locked into their contract. This means they can drive up their rates at any time, knowing that your business depends on using those services. With multi-cloud vendors, even if the rates for one vendor increase, you can offset the cost by moving to another vendor with lower rates.
The avoidance of vendor lock-in lets you evaluate the terms and conditions of each vendor cloud service and position your business to get the most value out of cloud providers.
5. Improved Performance
Interconnection of multi-cloud vendors lets businesses build a network system infrastructure that has fast network speed with ample storage for all your data. This can reduce the costs of integrating your own IT system with cloud services. By extending your network to encompass multiple cloud providers, you can find a cost effective way to initiate a balance between cost and performance.
6. Smart Data Management
Businesses have all kinds of data, and not all of it is crucial to their daily operations. Some data will be used each day, such as customer data that’s highly sensitive. Then there’s other data that’s less sensitive and infrequently accessed. With multi-cloud you can store data on different clouds, which allows you to take advantage of different service levels and rates.
For customer data you’ll want a cloud platform with maximum security that can handle a high volume of information. Large data that you need to upload or download to and from your local server may require a cloud provider with high speed and significant storage space.
7. Risk Management
Cyber crime is growing in sophistication, adding risk to IT networks of any size, with statistics on cyber security showing 43% of cyber attacks target small business. Switching to multi-cloud as part of their risk management strategy can give SMEs added security for their business data. When one vendor experiences a security attack, multi-cloud usage mitigates some of this risk by giving businesses the ability to back up their data and applications to a private cloud or to switch over to a different public cloud service provider.
Multi-cloud providers help with risk management by using an independent IT infrastructure that employs a multi-layer of security.
When SMEs and startups use multi-cloud computing, they can stay competitive and take advantage of the latest digital technology. Moving to multiple managed service providers, enterprises can add functionality and security to their business. Getting the best of each cloud service is the direction more businesses are choosing to take to increase their productivity, provide exceptional customer service, and scale their business to the next level.