In today’s digital age, businesses are adopting multi-cloud environments to meet their diverse needs. Favoring the innovation and freedom multi-cloud strategies provide, almost 98% of enterprises find applications and digital services living in and across multiple clouds.1 Yet, many don’t have the proper expertise, capabilities, or tools to effectively manage them. In fact, a recent industry report cites cost control, security, and lacking resources as the top three cloud and multi-cloud challenges keeping IT executives up at night.2
In this blog, we’ll explore the common multi-cloud pitfalls modern organizations face and recommendations to overcome them.
Challenge #1 – Cost Management
Utilizing multiple cloud environments offers ultimate flexibility while avoiding vendor lock-in. Organizations have full autonomy to host their digital services in the cloud or region of their choosing to maximize the features and services of each unique platform. However, without a uniform pricing model or billing structure in place, running applications and storing data across disparate cloud environments quickly leads to overspending and poor resource allocation—particularly as organizations amplify digital transformation and modernization efforts. This is further exacerbated by the ease of the cloud. With rapid deployment options and simplified pay-as-you-go models, organizations often find themselves paying for redundant services, pesky add-ons, or entire cloud environments spun up by shadow IT.3 It’s why roughly 70% of companies are unsure how much they actually spend on their cloud services.4
To optimize and govern cloud spending, organizations can adopt a cloud cost management platform. With deep visibility into resource allotments and existing budget requirements, these platforms help monitor, assess, and control costs across disparate cloud instances. By establishing these guardrails, businesses can centralize control to make smarter hosting decisions. In turn, IT teams can maintain predictable cloud expenditures, keep pace with constantly changing cost models, and eliminate erratic or volatile spending.
Challenge #2 – Security
As ransomware and sophisticated cyber threats rise, security is a top concern for all applications, regardless of where they live. Yet the laws of security somewhat vary. Take the data center, for instance. Conventional security tools and defenses deliver robust threat protection but are often limited to workloads hosted on premises. However, when it comes to safeguarding systems and applications in the cloud, these traditional tools often don’t scale outside physical business perimeters. Instead, each cloud has its own controls, technologies, and approaches to protect underlying infrastructures and environments.
For hardened, multi-layered security in the cloud, best practices suggest adopting a DevSecOps approach to application development and implementation. This involves integrating security tools and practices throughout the entire lifecycle to ensure security is a top priority. Businesses should also consider utilizing platforms that unify security for cloud assets. This includes the implementation of zero-trust access controls, cyber detection, compliance enforcement, and beyond.5 In doing so, organizations can implement consistent security measures that standardize protection across dynamic, multi-cloud environments.
Challenge #3 – Lack of Resources
A primary challenge of multi-cloud deployments are the nuances between cloud vendors. Each with its own infrastructure, configurations, APIs, and native management interfaces. This requires dedicated oversight and skills, making it difficult for businesses to effectively manage these bespoke and siloed cloud environments. In addition to managing each unique cloud by itself, businesses must maintain interoperability between environments to ensure applications and services are compatible with one another. A tall task, as the majority of organizations lack the adequate expertise needed in the cloud (much less across multiple clouds).6
As talent pools dwindle and skills gaps widen, businesses can invest in training programs to organically upskill or reskill current IT teams. This includes cultivating skills for deep domain experience in the deployment and management of existing and newly adopted clouds. Organizations can also augment their cloud journey with the use of managed service providers. By outsourcing the oversight or operations of specific clouds to trusted third-party providers, businesses can free in-house staff to stay hyper-focused on the most critical cloud environments or tasks. In doing so, organizations can maximize existing talent while infusing new cloud expertise into their business—all without sacrificing security or control.
In conclusion, while multi-cloud landscapes present unique and complex challenges, businesses can employ strategic approaches to overcome them and unlock the full potential of their investments. By establishing the proper tools, capabilities, and expertise, organizations can streamline management and fortify security across diverse cloud environments—driving digital transformation without sacrificing speed or innovation.
- Oracle, Oracle Press Release, 2023
- Flexera, State of the Cloud Report, 2023
- Oracle, What is Cloud Cost Management?, 2023
- G2 Crowd, 32 Cloud Cost Management Statistics Reveal Spending Trends, 2024
- Sysdig, 5 Steps to Securing Multi-Cloud Infrastructure, 2023
- S&P Global, Closing the Cloud Skills Gap, 2023