Five challenges that every multi-cloud strategy must address

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Over the past few years, companies have moved more of their data, applications, and development work to the cloud. This trend has increased significantly since the coronavirus pandemic caused an increase in remote work and e-commerce activity.

Organizations are launching or expanding their multi-cloud strategies more than ever as they drive digital transformation and address the new challenges posed by the global health crisis and its impact on business processes. According to a recent IDG study, cloud platforms play an important role in helping organizations respond to crises by providing operational resilience and the tools they need to work from home.

According to a survey of 551 IT decision makers by IDG, more than half currently use multiple public cloud services, and 21% say they use three or more cloud services. I am.

However, there are clear challenges in operating and managing an environment supported by multiple cloud providers and services. IT and business leaders need to address these hurdles to help organizations succeed in the multi-cloud world.

Determine the right cloud service for your job

Not all cloud services are equivalent when it comes to supporting specific applications, workloads, and business processes. Organizations traveling in the multi-cloud must strive to find the best service for a particular task.

“The first major challenge was to identify, select, and deploy the right services in each cloud environment,” he said.

Samantha Liscio, CIO of the Canadian Workplace Safety Insurance Commission (WSIB), is an agency that provides support and insurance to workers injured at work.

Since late 2017, WSIB has moved from legacy IT infrastructure to the cloud. We have partnered with IT consulting and service provider Accenture to design and execute a transformational program that includes cloud services, new cloud-ready operational models, and enhanced resilient digital services.

Currently, WSIB operates a multi-cloud environment that combines integrated public cloud products with its own private cloud. Dependent cloud providers include ServiceNow, Microsoft Azure, and WSIB’s private cloud hosting providers. Organizations use cloud services for a variety of applications, including employer financial coordination, identity management, digital portals for employee billing information, and billing processing.

“One of the difficult decisions WSIB needs to make is to select the right cloud services from a wide catalog of services offered by major cloud vendors and how they will fit into WSIB’s broader hybrid cloud architecture. It was to understand if it would be integrated, “says Liscio.

Accenture helped WSIB overcome challenges in developing its overall infrastructure strategy by defining cloud service selection criteria and cloud deployment decision frameworks. The WSIB then used it to make important strategic choices, says Liscio.

Match the pieces

In many cases, multi-cloud environments are replacing the proven, cohesive legacy IT infrastructure that has been deployed over the years. To make the migration successful and uninterrupted workflows, businesses need to combine different cloud services like a puzzle.

“The difficulty with multi-cloud management lies in the ability to integrate and operate with multiple diverse technology solutions, standards, and service layers. [offered by the cloud vendors]From a single location — often referred to as a single glass plate, ”says Liscio.

The infrastructure strategy created by WSIB defined a set of important cloud management and operational functions such as orchestration and automation, measurement and billing, and predictive operations. This allows organizations to deploy these features directly or with the help of cloud providers.

As technology landscapes and architectures become more complex, according to Liscio, the challenge of ensuring that these elements are combined can become increasingly difficult for technology and business leaders. This makes effective planning increasingly important.

Accenture helped WSIB shape its multi-cloud architecture to modernize existing aging technologies while introducing new digital services to end users. The organization has developed a multi-cloud strategy to ensure optimal user experience and application availability across various cloud technologies.

One of the key components of the WSIB multi-cloud strategy is the enterprise application gateway, which supports integration across multiple clouds. “Implemented the latest scalable API [application programming interface] The manager of the entire enterprise, “says Liscio. “We needed to make the environment“ future-ready ”to ensure that it could meet the demands of multi-cloud environments and the new technologies that come with them. “

Cost management in complex environments

One of the reasons companies are moving to the cloud is to reduce costs. For example, reduce servers or eliminate on-premises data centers altogether. However, a multi-cloud environment can be a costly task if not managed effectively.

WorldView, a healthcare information system provider, uses cloud services from Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). This includes the provision of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Five challenges that every multi-cloud strategy must address

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