A State of the Cloud Report by Flexera on cloud computing trends in 2022 showed that business leaders expected to increase their spending on cloud services by at least 29% in 2023. Per the same report, up to 89% of the polled companies had taken a multi-cloud approach, while the remaining 11% relied on a single cloud service provider.
Conventional wisdom from the early days of cloud computing advocated a single-cloud strategy (all your eggs – data – in one basket). According to the old line of thought, multi-cloud strategies (not putting your eggs in one basket) offered the benefits of better functionality and flexibility but sacrificed some security and data integration.
Your company is already leveraging cloud services, and you’ve realized that cloud technology has progressed, making choosing the right strategy more complex. If you plan to migrate more workloads to the cloud soon and are torn between choosing a single cloud vs. a multi-cloud, this article explores the pros and cons of going with a single cloud vendor versus building your technology stack.
Known as the “Big Three,” Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are in a long and bruising battle for customers and revenues. According to Statista, global spending on cloud infrastructure scaled by $57 billion in Q3 2022, bringing the industry total for the twelve months to $217 billion. Charts show Amazon, Microsoft, and Google took the lion’s share of cloud infrastructure revenues controlling up to 80% of the market.
All three companies, whose collective cloud market share has risen from 50% in 2017 and now stands at 80%, see the potential for substantial revenue inflows from their cloud market investment.
Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are burning the midnight oil in continuing to lean on partners so they can scale their programs and continue to have a grip on the market through the best-positioned partners. As the battle of the titans goes on for single-cloud projects, multi-cloud is fast becoming an inspirational goal for forward-looking leaders interested in abstracting their applications across clouds. Companies must choose between single-cloud strategies fronted by the traditional “big three” and new vendors promoting multi-cloud strategy.
The main difference between single-cloud and multi-cloud strategies is the number of service providers an organization employs. Each approach offers various pros, cons, and considerations.
The single-cloud strategy relies on a solo provider for all cloud storage needs and abilities. The most significant advantage of a single cloud is its greater management capabilities as users outsource all functions, applications, and data to a single provider, thereby eliminating manual administrative operations as internal teams focus on higher-priority tasks.
However, companies that use this strategy often have to deal with vendor lock-ins which frequently include strict contractual terms (they can’t move to another cloud quickly even when they need change). Moreover, since different cloud providers have slightly varying specialties and services, single cloud providers will impose limitations on flexibility when you seek broader services.
While the key players have been pushing for the single-cloud strategy forever, the multi-cloud is still the popular approach, with over 89% of firms subscribing to it. Companies that prefer this strategy use numerous cloud computing vendors for their varying assets, applications, and workloads. The multi-cloud approach affords them more capabilities, flexibility, and even pricing.
One of the best things about the multi-cloud approach is the flexibility it offers users, such as deciding which provider’s service offerings are best suited for a company’s different needs. This could be why aircraft manufacturer Boeing signed cloud service agreements with Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. As a result, users are guaranteed the best range of capabilities for the utmost efficiency. Also, companies can choose between providers for all or some of their services at the most competitive prices.
Nonetheless, since the different cloud services providers bring their unique approaches, tools, systems, and policies to cloud computing, it takes specialized knowledge to be able to integrate tools from multiple providers into an efficient technology stack.. Moreover, since cloud security is primarily managed using tools provided by the vendors, there could be a few inconsistencies in your approach to cybersecurity as a whole, creating gaps if not handled correctly.
Since cloud computing is now integral to all IT infrastructures, every organization must create a comprehensive and secure cloud strategy. While the single cloud strategy may be effective for small and micro enterprises where scalability may not be a severe issue, the multi-cloud environment is better as it helps users foresee and plan for future requirements apart from being highly scalable.
While the infrastructure availability of a single-cloud can outweigh actual utilization, it’s more of an “all or nothing” situation where when the system fails, it goes down with everything. Conversely, multi-cloud avails a smaller gap since it mostly runs on a pay-as-you-grow model. With it, the possibility of experiencing complete downtime is almost nil since chances are few that everything could go down simultaneously.
With modern-day business needs demanding a more cloud-enabled experience and business leaders wanting the best and latest cloud applications, the journey toward building your cloud stack isn’t as easy as it sounds. Breaking free from open and hidden vendor lock-ins can be discouraging for many companies that are interested in the transition. Still, nothing compares to the autonomy that comes with the multi-cloud model.
Achieving this autonomy may require custom integrations and workarounds to achieve the efficiency, security, and integration of a single-cloud approach. To fully realize and enjoy the benefits of a multi-cloud computing environment, you want to consider engaging an experienced team of developers to help create a cloud roadmap and deliver software and cloud infrastructure faster.
The increasing demand for remote work and distributed teams is continually forcing enterprises to leverage the full potential of multi-cloud computing and helping to scale it up more securely. The sheer variety of available software solutions and the evolution in the multi-cloud computing space is introducing the most effective and economically viable solutions to an organization’s requirements.
If your company is considering executing a no-complexity, hassle-free multi-cloud computing stack that allows your business to maximize the benefits of your IT investments, consider engaging Gigster to deal with the complexities of integrating cloud resources, so your processes become more efficient and predictable.