Decision-makers’ guide to multi-cloud experiences

May 26, 2022
Multi Cloud

A new survey of IT leaders pinpoints benefits and challenges.

Credit: iStock/Just_Super

IT leaders are embracing multi-cloud to deliver on business demands for greater innovation, scalability, and transformational customer and employee experiences. Those who are already engaged in multi-cloud are maximizing flexibility but also providing insight into the challenges in executing those strategies.

Foundry’s 2022 Cloud Computing Survey provides conclusive evidence that cloud is the default option for IT investment, and that multiple clouds for all their benefits come accompanied by a set of challenges for IT decision makers (ITDMs) to address.

An overwhelming 72% of 850 surveyed ITDMs say their organizations are defaulting to cloud-based services when upgrading or purchasing new technical capabilities. But an even larger 92% say they have experienced significant challenges to implementing their cloud strategies. (Previous iterations of the survey, now in its ninth year, were released under the IDG Communications brand.)

Regarding multi-cloud, 79% say they’ve experienced at least one significant downside to their migration. According to Foundry’s report, “The most common complaint is increased complexity (48%), followed by increased costs due to cloud management and security challenges (36%), and increased costs of training and hiring (34%). Larger companies, and companies with larger cloud budgets, are more likely to experience greater downsides.”

The takeaway here is that there is no guarantee of success with multi-cloud adoption. The complexity ITDMs are experiencing now is likely only to increase in the future as organizations deal with new cloud offerings for 5G and edge applications, greater numbers of distributed workers accessing multi-cloud environments, and greater expectations from both customers and employees.

It appears that many are still early on in their path to multi-cloud. Interestingly, the Foundry survey found that 74% say they use more than one public cloud provider, but only 18% classify themselves as multi-cloud. Meanwhile, 29% say they are deploying or already have deployed hybrid cloud.

That indicates some confusion over what multi-cloud means. We’ll rely in this instance on VMware’s definition: “A multi-cloud is a cloud environment that includes more than one public cloud provider, regardless of whether it is hybrid or not.”

The survey inconsistency likely tells us that the concept of multi-cloud is still a bit overwhelming to ITDMs living in fear of increased complexity. The good news is that those still early on their path to multi-cloud have the benefit of learning from their peers who went earlier and have dealt with challenges and overcome them.

A separate survey finds that what matters most is consistency. In that poll, 91% of executives say they want to improve consistency across their public cloud environments.

Satisfying that need for operational consistency across clouds is one of the main objectives behind VMware Universal Cloud, which aims to make the transition to private and public clouds as seamless and cost-efficient as possible. 

VMware Cloud Universal offers its customers the ability to select from program offerings that span multi-cloud infrastructure, cloud management, application modernization, and premier customer success capabilities. It unifies compute, network, and storage capabilities across public/private cloud infrastructures, management, and applications, utilizing familiar VMware technology and providing a single management control plane. That’s certainly one way to achieve consistency, whether you define success as hybrid cloud or multi-cloud.

To learn more about how VMware Cloud Universal can simplify your evolving cloud environment, go to