Multi-cloud sounds simple, but, without a unifying strategy, implementing multiple cloud services can result in added complexity. That strategy starts with clear objectives and culminates with best practices to maximize goal achievement.\n\nMulti-cloud adoption promises broad access to vital services such as app modernization, unified security, advanced data services, and unified operations. But it\u2019s easy to go astray without proper planning.\n\n\u201cThe most concerning issue about most enterprises going multi-cloud is their lack of preparation to make multi-cloud and hybrid cloud work as a solution platform for the business,\u201d writes noted InfoWorld cloud columnist David Linthicum. \u201cIn other words, obstacles exist in leveraging this technology effectively.\u201d\n\nWe discussed how individual applications may not span multiple clouds in a previous article. Here we\u2019ll focus on other common challenges when bringing multiple clouds into the IT environment, including:\n\nMulti-cloud environments are in a state of constant flux. That\u2019s to be expected when the portability of applications and flexibility are the ultimate goals. But it requires effort in building and operating applications that are capable of migration between on-premises and multi-cloud environments. In fact, workloads and applications that have initially migrated to a public cloud environment may be incrementally repatriated or moved back into the on-premises environment.\n\n\u201cIndeed, most businesses today are hybrid, with some workloads on-prem and others in the cloud,\u201d VMware CTO Kit Colbert recently wrote. \u201cThe exact balance differs by company and can change over time as their environment evolves\u2026having a well thought out multi-cloud strategy is key to enabling incremental repatriation.\u201d\n\nMulti-cloud adopters should aim for the following:\n\nConsistency across public cloud platforms is hardly a priority for the major cloud services providers, each of which is determined to leverage unique capabilities as its competitive advantage.\n\n\u201cOne common approach to address these inconsistencies between cloud providers is to build a set of services that are standardized across cloud infrastructure, operations, and governance,\u201d says Chris Simpson, Cloud Solutions Architect for the VMware Cloud Universal offering.\n\nVMware Cloud Universal offers multi-cloud subscription purchase and consumption flexibility across multiple clouds, traditional and cloud-native applications, and operations. That\u2019s accomplished with a foundational IT stack based upon:\n\nThe unique offering provides a rich set of enterprise-class VMware compute, storage, networking, management, security, and modern application capabilities spanning on-premises data centers and private, public, and local clouds. \n\n\u201cWith VMware Cloud Universal, organizations can\u00a0determine then adopt their chosen best-of-breed\u00a0cloud solutions\u00a0to\u00a0manage their workloads and applications in a secure environment, to maintain freedom and flexibility\u00a0as business needs change,\u201d Simpson says.\n\nTo learn how VMware Cloud Universal can provide a unifying path to your multi-cloud future, go to https:\/\/www.vmware.com\/products\/cloud-universal.html.