Mythbusting the Multicloud: Five Wrong Notions Debunked


There’s currently a lot of mythology surrounding multicloud. When considering a multicloud strategy, it’s important to debunk five common myths and evaluate the role of tech talent in deriving true business value from a multicloud approach, points out Drew Firment, chief cloud strategist at Pluralsight.

As business workloads migrate to the cloud, multicloud strategies are increasingly becoming the norm. More than 70% of organizations that use the cloud utilize multiple providersOpens a new window – a significant jump from the less than half (49%) of organizations that implemented multicloud in 2017.  

There’s a well-founded reason for this transition. Implementing multicloud comes with a host of benefits, including cost savings, the flexibility to choose the best features from each provider, and the ability to avoid vendor lock-in. However, multicloud is far from being a field of roses. Multicloud strategies can be complex and clunky, and they require additional considerations when it comes to security, portability, and employee skills development. In the end, these challenges can prevent organizations from reaping any meaningful cost savings.  

One thing is certain: multicloud is not a silver bullet, and it’s not a right fit for every organization. Technology leaders have to wade through a myriad of information about multicloud to make informed decisions about their cloud strategy. And on top of that, tech teams must ensure that they have the skills to make the most of their multicloud investments.  

Five Multicloud Myths Busted

There’s currently a lot of mythology surrounding multicloud. While it’s true that multicloud can drive immense value for digital-first organizations under the right circumstances, there are also many multicloud myths worth debunking. Below, we’ll debunk five common myths and evaluate the role of tech talent in deriving true business value from a multicloud approach.  

1. Avoiding vendor lock-in is all upside 

Many organizations want to adopt a multicloud strategy to avoid vendor lock-in. There are a few reasons for this: 1) organizations are concerned they won’t be able to move data from one platform to the next due to vendor-specific capabilities, and 2) organizations reliant on one cloud go down alongside that cloud’s outages, making multicloud is a strategic move to avoid downtime. However, this level of portability and resilience comes with additional complications and trade-offs. Organizations will need to avoid cloud-native features that would require a full record (e.g., platform-as-a-service offerings such as load balancing, version management, and traffic splitting), as these offerings can create problems when migrating solutions between cloud providers. Cloud teams will also need to use generic formats and RDBMS engines.

2. Utilizing more than one cloud will give you bargaining power with other providers

This is another commonly misunderstood benefit of avoiding vendor lock-in. Many leaders think using several public clouds will give them an upper hand in cost negotiations. This may have been true at one point but is not reflective of the current landscape. All the major cloud providers now have similar offerings, meaning that if an organization gets in a dispute with its current provider, it’s plausible to move to another without incurring massive costs.  

3. The onus of security belongs to the cloud provider 

According to Gartner, 99% of cloud security features fall under the responsibility of the customerOpens a new window . Each cloud provider has a shared responsibility model that outlines what security responsibilities are delegated to the customer vs. the provider, meaning teams need to work to gain a full understanding of each provider’s features and security practices. Leaders should focus on using the cloud safely and creating a multicloud security strategy, which requires keeping an ear to the ground and frequently engaging analysts and engineers.  

4. Security works similarly in on-premise and multicloud 

Utilizing multiple clouds creates additional challenges from a security perspective. Cloud-based systems are distributed and replicated horizontally, making it harder to track and secure data. These scale systems are significantly more complex than on-premise and require greater levels of coordination and integration. Each point of coordination and integration serves as a potential point of failure, causing a heightened need for accuracy and attention to detail in preventing data breaches. 

See More: Regulation Meets the Cloud: Joint Responsibility for the Future

5. You don’t need extra security measures for multicloud

Because multicloud opens up a host of security vulnerabilities, it requires more protection than on-premise infrastructures or hybrid cloud environments. When evaluating new security solutions for multicloud, leaders should vet tools for access management, key management, workload management, and assistance with visibility.   

The Role of Tech Talent in Mastering Multicloud  

Behind every multicloud strategy is a people strategy. Yet, only 8% of technologists surveyed in 2022 had extensive experience with cloud toolsOpens a new window , creating a gap between what organizations want and what technologists can execute. As organizations assess whether multicloud is the right fit for them, they must first understand their cloud team’s limitations and strengths to avoid biting off more than they can chew.  

Although cloud providers offer similar functionalities, the approach to using and optimizing these functionalities can vary significantly. Every provider has distinct nuances that do not always translate directly from one to the next. Because multicloud is still in its nascent stages, there are still several aspects that cause friction between platforms and make communication difficult. Adopting multiple public cloud providers often means that engineers will require more practice, leading to an increased risk of errors. As such, multicloud requires not only ample time and budget, but technical expertise. And because teams will need to develop unique competencies for each provider, organizations should be prepared to invest in upskilling.  

This is where it will be critical to have a firm grasp of employees’ current skills and opportunities for improvement. In a tech landscape where a scarcity of qualified candidates hinders recruiting and training for cloud-related skills, empowering current employees to develop professionally helps maximize potential. Using multiple public clouds can – and likely will – prolong the journey to competency at first. However, structured training can reduce the time it takes to reach full productivity. The value of hands-on experience in achieving true skills mastery cannot be understated.    

A Multicloud Future  

Myths abound in the expanding world of multicloud. And while multicloud is a trendy buzzword, organizations must understand the approach holistically and evaluate the pros and cons before hopping on the bandwagon. The debate on the utility of multicloud is nuanced and multifaceted, and technologists are often split on the topic. 

Regardless of opinions, the fact is that multicloud comes with additional considerations for portability, security, and up-leveling employees’ cloud skill sets. If organizations want to succeed in their multicloud approach, they’ll need to invest in developing the organizational knowledge to keep it operating securely and effectively.  

How are you building organization knowledge and talent to leverage the multicloud approach? Share with us on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window . We’d love to hear from you!

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