How to Plan for Success when mapping a Multi-Cloud Strategy

BrandPost By IDG Enterprise staff
Aug 30, 2018
Cloud Computing

We reached out to key influencers to discuss considerations around building a solid cloud strategy. Here is what we learned.

Credit: shutterstock

Enterprises are excited about the potential for cloud computing and creating a strategy around its possibilities. Conversations with influencers helped us understand potential challenges and how to maneuver around them for continued success.

Eric Roch, (@LinkedIn), Chief Strategist & Enterprise Architect at Perficient, had a list of ways the cloud can be challenging – and how it can be a win:

  • “Defining security requirements then implementing and testing cloud security architecture.
  • Challenging mapping network requirements to cloud capabilities
  • Staff expertise including cloud acquisition and architecture”

Roch goes on to explain ideas on how to make this a successful project:

  • “Funding the implementation to overcome the hurdles to cloud adoption it is best to establish a Cloud future-state vision and a roadmap to get there in terms of people, process and technology. The vision should include the future-state IT architecture and also the impact and benefits to the business. Ultimately a cloud adoption can be tied back to the customer’s experience with the cooperate brand and can potentially revolutionize the business mode
  • Adopt a Cloud First mandate within a formal Cloud Strategy
  • Include cloud adoption a part of a larger modernization and digital transformation IT strategy
  • Categorize the application portfolio as candidates for cloud adoption based on innovation, risk and costs
  • Standardize on cloud service providers, implementation and migration approaches
  • Create a means to govern cloud provider adoption and self-service
  • Force a budget shift from data center to cloud and modernization (starve the data center)
  • Recognize and mitigate adoption barriers including standards and certification for cloud security.”

Exit Strategy: Have One

It’s important not only to have that forward thinking in place but also an exit strategy so you can “break up” with your vendor without it costing a lot and causing a huge disruption for the company.

 “Ensure that the cloud service provider you chose has an appropriate strategy for patching *everything*, from the hypervisor to the OS to the applications. While this is important for application updates, it is extremely important for security patches that they are applied in a timely manner – with minimal interruption to the service they provide,” said Guy Bunker (@guybunker), SVP of Products and Marketing at Clearswift. “Before selecting the vendor, think about how you will move away from them, should the need arise. How will you move your data and what are the costs and time involved in doing this? Without an ‘escape’ clause, the enterprise might find themselves tied in to escalating costs and lose the agility they originally moved to the cloud to achieve.”

Tracking Data, Storage, and Downtime: Things to Consider

Three key components you need to consider when mapping out your multi-cloud strategy: data, storage, and potential downtime.

“In my opinion, downtime is an obvious yet often overlooked aspect of cloud computing. In the past few years, outages at reputable providers of one day or more have been documented. One way to manage expectations with a prospective provider is to ask for a service level agreement (SLA) guaranteeing uptimes of 99% or more,” said Phil Siarri (@philsiarri), Founder of Nuadox.

If your cloud provider doesn’t mirror your internal efforts with reference to meeting regulatory and security obligations, you could be liable for data exposures in the cloud,” said David Geer (@geercom), technology writer/journalist. “If you use and technologically enforce certain controls from certain frameworks to meet regulatory or security requirements, confirm the cloud provider does likewise, put it in the contract, and insist on auditing their controls.”

“Cloud computing isn’t just an IT migration. It requires important changes across many business processes including supply chain management, IT asset management, information security, IT contracting, IT acquisition and more. Many enterprises fail to develop and execute an organizational change management plan that includes the needed training, education, information distribution and feedback processes,” said Kevin Jackson (@Kevin_Jackson), Founder, the GovCloud Network.

Compliance is Key

“Organizations wishing to leverage the benefits of cloud computing should consider, or have a plan for the following:

  1. Data Security – The risk of a data breach becomes more likely if an organization has insufficient skills, or poor security management practices with regard to data and data access, especially as it pertains to distributed credential management;
  2. Data Availability and/or Compliance It is up to the individual organization to ensure that the requisite level of compliance is maintained, whether on-premises or in the cloud, to ensure appropriate access to information assets is maintained,” said Peter Salvitti (@psalvitti), Chief Technologist at Boston College.

Check Permissions

Rachel Tracy (@rachelbtracy), B2B tech communications consultant, said: “Companies need to consider their policies and procedures for controlling outdated logins and permissions. Even a supposedly secure private cloud or single-tenant software can be hacked when you have outdated login credentials floating around. Organizations will also need to grapple with security issues and policies around mobile device management as mobile enterprise apps become more prevalent.”

Understand the Best Way Forward

“The big issues are migrating to the cloud without understanding all of the issues,” said Ben Rothke (@benrothke), Senior Security Consultant at Nettitude.

“Outages become a major issue for maintaining uptime of services and retaining customers. Organizations must be willing to invest in robust infrastructure and gigabit speeds in order to satiate their enterprise cloud appetites,” said Scott Schober (@ScottBVS), CEO at Berkeley Varitronics Systems Inc

How VMware Sees It

Planning a successful cloud strategy is easier when you select a cloud service provider who offers services that you know and trust.  VMware Cloud Verified partners fit the bill because they offer the complete VMware SDDC infrastructure, which you know and trust, delivered as a service.  Many influencers cited concerns around compatibility and control – Cloud Verified partners address these issues as well because their VMware validated services provide both integration and interoperability.  Learn more about VMware’s cloud strategy and how Cloud Verified partners are a key part of ensuring VMware customer success in the cloud by watching a replay of the recent VMworld Day 1 keynote by CEO Pat Gelsinger here.

Move to the cloud with confidence by selecting a Cloud Verified partner today.