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5 Multi-Cloud Strategy Issues that Today's CIOs Need to Worry About

By Enterprise Security Magazine | Monday, September 09, 2019

The pace at which organizations are adopting multi-cloud strategy is growing. However, there are some hurdles that the CIOs should look upon.

FREMONT, CA: Since companies are unable to source everything they require from one provider, they are adopting the multi-cloud strategy in an effort to meet their organizational requirements. However, to savor the sweetness of the fruit, you have to face skyrocketing challenges.

Challenges CIOs can face while adopting a multi-cloud strategy:

Compliance

When an enterprise runs across multiple clouds, spanning a range of geographic regions, it can be hard to find out where the data is physically residing. This is an issue as it is a requirement to find the location of data to remain compliant with CJIS government regulations, and HIPAA healthcare, among others. Being skeptical about the data's location can also put the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance at risk. GDPR requires clients to be made aware of a data breach within 72 hours of realization of the attack. In this scenario, it becomes more complex to undertake a complete investigation in a short span of time with the whereabouts of data being unknown. Last but not the least, using multiple clouds makes it less complex to accidentally run a particular application in an environment which is unapproved, once again risking compliance.

Redundancy: A catalyst for many businesses opting for a multi-cloud strategy, redundancy provides businesses with a sense of security. They can put primary systems on one platform of the cloud, and their backup or secondary on another one. This way, if the primary provider goes through a power outage, breach of data, or other disasters, they can still operate through the provider of the backup cloud without missing a beat. However, if redundancy is a factor for consideration of multi-cloud, enterprises should be prepared to evaluate the failover process multiple times throughout the year to ensure that the secondary platform will run as planned following an event.

Cost Controlling: Many businesses look at multi-cloud strategy as a window of opportunity to leverage pricing programs of different providers and then prefer to work with those who consistently offer the finest balance on their budget. What they fail in considering, however, is that many platforms of cloud make use of volume pricing; running or more workload will result in less cost. So by distributing workloads amongst numerous clouds, businesses may end up paying a higher price per unit. Cloud sprawl can also be expensive. This occurs when workers are operating applications simultaneously amongst multiple clouds, resulting in extra expenditure.     

Security:  Distinct cloud providers have distinct security levels. Reputable providers are accountable for most of the infrastructure's security; safeguarding data kept in their infrastructure through encryption technologies, multi-factor authentication vectors, and identity and access management. To retain security, it is essential to choose cloud vendors carefully as well as regularly perform IT health assessments. Over time, software, and infrastructure change as well as cyber risks, making this extremely necessary. Performing IT assessment on a regular basis with the usage of multiple cloud providers can become arduous, so internal IT teams should be ready.

Multi-Vendor Management: While businesses may love the idea of not being bound to one provider, handling multiple vendors with different sets of skills and separate portals can be difficult. It can be taxing on the internal team of IT, who may require distinct operating systems, identity, administration tools, and access management, cloud management platforms, development languages, and frameworks.

When should the multi-cloud strategy be used?

Weighing up the pros and cons of multi-cloud environments, a CIO will be able to gauge when a multi-cloud strategy should be adopted. Some of the situations could be:

• When there are operational benefits because of the broader option of services.
• When unplanned downtime would gravely disrupt the organization.
• When the enterprise has the right kind of people to leverage opportunities.
• When the enterprise has a solution to help in managing costs, security, and performance.
• When the enterprise has a global team of developers, and it wants to push resource efficiencies to the group.

An organization can enjoy all the benefits and earn huge profits through a multi-cloud strategy. However, careful and responsible consideration of all factors is essential before adopting a multi-cloud strategy.

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