Over the past decade, we started to see a broader shift toward the use of multiple cloud providers by the enterprise. The need to reduce risk, optimize cloud usage, manage costs and the push to open source and cloud vendor-agnostic technologies are providing more options for developers, which will likely lead to an even steeper increase in multi-cloud usage.
In 2019, we saw the acquisition of Red Hat by IBM, the largest software company acquisition in IT history, to support both cloud and open source software. This acquisition, and others such as Salesforce/Tableau and Google/Looker, suggest that the trend will continue moving forward. In addition to support from mergers and acquisitions, multi-cloud within companies and use by developers will continue to rise.
Multi-Cloud to Better Enable the Developer Workforce to Keep Up with Competition
Multi-cloud architecture allows companies to distribute, move and optimize workloads across multiple cloud environments, decreasing the risks and costs associated with running workloads on only a single cloud environment and allowing one to select the best mix of capabilities for the desired use cases. These benefits make the single cloud option far less popular, and results in more interest in multi-cloud deployments.
This choice is important–to keep up with the competition, digital businesses across the globe need to make better decisions and deliver faster, smarter actions. They must capture and integrate data in real time from wherever it is located, govern these data assets and augment the intelligence of their business through deep analytical insights. These actions must support both the technical and business levels of the enterprise, and developers must be armed with the right tools to enable these capabilities. A multi-cloud strategy ensures that this is possible, and offers the greatest degree of flexibility and choice when it comes to building solutions.
To further support this shift, it is important to provide developers with the flexibility to choose best-of-breed solutions in order to streamline their processes. Limiting developers to one cloud vendor can restrict them from using the best tool for the job and result in suboptimal cloud deployments. But with a multi-cloud approach, developers can create their own individualized arsenal. Executives, who expect the best from their developers, have to pursue a multi-cloud strategy in order to get the most reliable and fastest results for their business.
Industry Insights for Mature DevOps Teams
Last year, IBM released research that showed that 85% of the companies surveyed were already multi-cloud adopters. Approximately 39% of those companies have implemented DevOps processes, and 41% have a multi-cloud management strategy. Clearly, multi-cloud is important to the strategy of an organization.
As pointed out, in order to be successful with a multi-cloud strategy, one of the key issues for developers to tackle is the creation of strong, automated DevOps processes. These processes must bring structure to a multi-cloud computing ecosystem. According to 2019 research from GitLab, overall DevOps adoption is on the rise, and teams that have successfully implemented a mature DevOps program are seeing major improvements in their workflow. In addition to speed, mature DevOps teams are almost 1.5 times more likely to feel innovative and are three times more likely to discover security vulnerabilities earlier in the pipeline.
Future of Multi-Cloud Adoption and Impact
Moving forward, we will see more companies adopt multi-cloud strategies and developers will be among the groups that are most impacted by this approach. For developers, multi-cloud adoption involves matching the business case for certain problem sets to the appropriate cloud providers so the expected ROI can be achieved with the right technology blend.
Developers need the right tools to develop, test, support, manage and monitor the deployed solutions consistently across cloud providers. Over time, it may also be necessary to move the solutions from one vendor to another as the requirements, business landscape and cost justifications change. Thus, developers must work within the organization to evaluate and choose the relevant features from each vendor, augment as necessary with external tools and regularly monitor industry trends and capabilities to transition if needed. This is the flexibility that a multi-cloud approach brings, but it must be balanced with the strategy, business and financial needs of the organization.
The cloud will continue to be a strong technology focus area for enterprises and developers across the globe. Cloud adoption strategies will continue to broaden and shift toward multi-cloud as needed, allowing developers to streamline their processes, select the best tool for the job and create more value for their company as a whole.