Multi-cloud is the new normal. And thankfully, this new normal isn’t just happenstance—it’s driving positive outcomes.
New findings show that most organizations benefit from using multiple cloud providers. Multi-cloud adoptions are helping achieve business goals, such as improving reliability and scalability and increasing overall security and governance. However, nearly all organizations (94%) admitted that they have some avoidable cloud spending and skills shortages continue to hold back a fully-realized multiple-cloud success.
HaschiCorp recently released the 2022 State of Cloud Strategy Survey: Making Multi-Cloud Work. In addition to showcasing the positive outcomes of multi-cloud adoption, the report found a trend toward automation frameworks that help operationalize multi-cloud. Below, I’ll explore the report’s key takeaways to see what CloudOps and platform teams can garner from current multi-cloud trends.
Multi-Cloud is Achieving Business Goals
First off, the use of the public clouds is increasing dramatically—the majority of public cloud workloads will likely double in the next two years. To support this influx, more organizations are moving toward multi-cloud. According to the HashiCorp survey, 60% are already multi-cloud and 21% plan to use multiple clouds within the next year.
The good news is that a multi-cloud strategy appears to be working. A full 90% of respondents said multi-cloud is helping their organizations achieve their business goals. This figure is an impressive jump from HashiCorp’s 2021 survey, in which only 53% of organizations said multi-cloud was helping them achieve their business goals.
So, what exactly are companies extracting from multi-cloud adoption? Well, the topmost business goal driving multi-cloud is reliability, at 46%. This is followed by digital transformation (43%), scalability (42%), security and governance (41%) and cost reduction (39%). As we can see, multi-cloud equally benefits various areas.
Centralized Automation Supports Multi-Cloud
With the rise of multi-cloud, CloudOps is becoming its own discipline. As such, it’s common for an organization to build a dedicated Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) or strategy team to manage cloud operations—86% said they relied on a cloud platform team. Such a team is often in charge of standardizing cloud services, developing cloud best practices, creating operational policies and related duties.
To aid cloud platform teams, cloud automation is becoming increasingly important. The survey found that 99% see automation as important for operationalizing multi-cloud infrastructure. Multi-cloud automation could help solve inconsistencies across varying cloud workflows. Respondents also found it can be applied to deliver more flexible infrastructure, improve security and governance and better utilize cloud resources. Improving security is especially important here, as 89% said security is a key driver of cloud success.
So how are these automations built? Well, folks are rarely developing cloud automation tools from scratch—only 27% do so. It’s far more common to either use open source or commercial tools for cloud automation. It’s pretty equal across the board whether these tools are run ‘as-a-service’ or are self-hosted.
Regardless of the tooling type, companies are experiencing a broad set of benefits from using middleware to manage their multi-cloud operation strategy. 49% rank scalability as a benefit. This is followed by infrastructure provisioning (42%), cost optimizations (40%) and more flexible deployment options (39%).
(Nearly) Everyone is Overspending on Multi-Cloud
Unsurprisingly to some, the study found that 94% of organizations are wasting money in the cloud. The following were the top cited areas that contribute to cloud overspending and waste: Idle or underused resources (66%), overprovisioning resources (59%), a lack of needed skills (47%) and manual containerization (37%).
The cloud overspending dilemma necessitates forethought into optimizations and reduction of idle resources. As I’ve previously covered, some organizations are even tinkering with employing a cloud economist, or Cloud CFO, to keep escalating cloud fees in check. To help this mission, 43% say consistent and automated tooling has or would lead to better utilization of cloud resources.
Although wasteful spending is pervasive, the majority of companies are forecasting their cloud spending correctly. More than half (57%) said that in 2021 their organization’s projected cloud spend aligned with their actual cloud spend.
Getting the Most Out of Multi-Cloud
Multi-cloud is becoming more common across all IT divisions—as is middleware to operationalize and standardize logic between multiple clouds. And, widespread business success with multi-cloud signals increased maturity in this area.
Yet, multi-cloud doesn’t come without its challenges. Skill shortages rank as the highest factor impeding an organization’s ability to operationalize multi-cloud. Businesses must face other challenges, such as siloed teams, compliance and risk management and lack of training in order to fully realize multi-cloud. Standardized operating models, along with shared workflows and policies, are possible ways to combat these roadblocks.
The HashiCorp study surveyed 1,000 technology practitioners and decision-makers from around the world. HashiCorp also partnered with Forrester to provide additional analysis of the findings. To read the results for yourself, check out the full report here.