The hype is real: These days, organizations often need a multicloud environment to function at optimal levels. This can look like supporting remote workers, expanding into new regions or offering new services. Regardless of the motivation, multicloud comes in handy (plus, it’s doable thanks to the range of vendors). And it will take on more importance as organizations continue to adopt cloud at unprecedented rates.
Admittedly, the term “multicloud” has grown in buzziness over the past year, albeit for fair reason. So what is multicloud? It’s the use of two or more public cloud providers, sometimes paired alongside a private cloud vendor or two. This can create a stronger, more flexible architecture than does the reliance on just one brand or configuration. Furthermore, the arrangement allows IT teams to take advantage of each cloud type’s own unique features and capabilities.
Because of that, more SMBs and enterprises are realizing that, to make the most of their strategies and goals, they probably need to embrace more than one cloud. But for customers to benefit the most from multicloud, managed service providers, VARs, ISVs, system integrators, agents and other partners must themselves be on board with the concept. John McKenna, vice president of strategic initiatives and partner channel alliances at Expedient, will address this very topic on Wednesday, March 3. That’s when he’ll lead the session, “The Multicloud Business Imperative,” at Channel Partners Virtual, starting at 12:40 p.m. ET. Expedient provides cloud computing and data center infrastructure.
The timing of the session could not be more relevant. Even though the industry has known and worked with “cloud” technologies for the past 15 years, most businesses have moved only a fraction of their IT estates into the cloud, McKenna said.
“The reason is varied – but at its simplest – it’s because one size does not fit all.”
Multicloud architecture must enter the picture, he said, especially as organizations keep working toward another buzzy topic: digital transformation.
“Continuing to try to go all-in on a single cloud provider or single type of cloud will not work,” McKenna said. “What is needed is an approach that embraces the diversity of an organization’s IT estate, maps out a strategy to optimize workloads on a multicloud tapestry, and layers on the universal management services to view that diverse and dispersed environment as an easy-to-manage unified platform.”
Examining the Multicloud Opportunity
Multicloud provides channel partners “a great opportunity” to act as the trusted adviser, McKenna said. In this scenario, partners of all kinds may consult with IT teams on optimizing their cloud environments, or manage those on the customer’s behalf. Multicloud even leads to additional ways to make money through development, McKenna noted.
The rationales for implementing multicloud environments can vary. Regardless of the impetus – say, the impact of COVID-19 or the pursuit of specific business outcomes – one concept is fueling the multicloud trend. That concept, said McKenna, is digital transformation. And achieving digital transformation requires cloud – an “essential element,” McKenna said.
“Thus, multicloud is an essential business imperative,” he added.
That means partners need to keep a few things in mind: “That all-in won’t work; that multicloud is the optimal path; that multicloud does not simply mean multiple clouds; and that you need to approach the problem in a new way,” McKenna said.
Intrigued? McKenna will dive into these issues in detail on March 3.
Until then, take these pointers into consideration when talking about multicloud with clients. First, listen to the customer’s need, McKenna said.
“Don’t force a one-size-fits-all-or-most solution onto a client – event if they ask for one,” he said.
Second, again, go in as a trusted adviser.
“Implement telemetry solutions that help the client truly understand their IT estate,” McKenna said.
Finally, be platform-independent.
“Employ universal services to manage and operate the environment with and for the client,” said McKenna.
Expect McKenna to also share some market observations, outline what is working and what is not, and put forth a “different approach to cloud computing.”