Maximizing IT Agility with hybrid and multicloud strategies

Feb 29, 2024
  • IT

It seems like only yesterday when almost every company was reluctant to migrate to a cloud provider. Today, multicloud architectures are becoming more popular, reflecting a need for greater agility and cost optimization in a rapidly changing technological landscape. But managing multiple clouds and edge/on-premise environments is not without its challenges. A robust, holistic enterprise architecture that aligns business goals and IT capabilities is essential for success.

Hybrid cloud, multicloud, and edge

  • Hybrid cloud is about connecting different kinds of (cloud) environments, such as on-premises, private, and public clouds.
  • Multicloud is about using multiple cloud providers, no matter what kind they are, to get more variety and efficiency from the cloud services you use.
  • Edge refers to computing and data processing that takes place near or at the source of data generation, for example in Internet of Things devices, autonomous vehicles, remote monitoring etc.

Today’s businesses are more thoughtful in choosing their hyperscaler, looking beyond just cost and location. They're considering the electrical grid's reliability, regional political stability, and sustainability aspects. This careful selection ensures they pick a cloud solution that aligns with their need for uninterrupted service, compliance, and risk management.

More clouds, more problems?

Both hybrid and multicloud strategies require careful management and coordination to avoid complexity, security issues, and inefficiency. One of the main challenges is the complexity of managing different clouds and hyperscalers. Each cloud provider has its own set of services, features, APIs, tools, and pricing models, which may not be compatible or interoperable with each other. This can create integration, migration, and portability issues, as well as increase the operational and administrative overhead. To overcome this, organizations can use services that are compatible with different hyperscalers, such as Kubernetes for container orchestration, or adopt a cloud-agnostic platform that abstracts away the underlying differences and provides a consistent interface across multiple clouds.

What’s even more important, however, is having a clear vision and strategy for how to use hybrid and multicloud architectures to achieve business goals and IT capabilities. A robust enterprise architecture framework can help you define your vision, strategy, and roadmap for hybrid and multicloud adoption, as well as identify the best practices, standards, and governance models to support it. Doing so maximizes the value and minimizes the risks, and thus creates a greater competitive advantage.

Multi- and hybrid cloud and security concerns

Security is a major concern for any cloud-based environment, but especially for hybrid and multicloud ones. These architectures introduce additional security challenges, including:

  • Data protection: Data stored and transmitted across different clouds may be subject to different encryption standards, policies, and regulations. Careful data classification, governance, and compliance management are essential here.
  • Identity and access management: Managing user identities and access rights across different clouds can be complex and inconsistent, increasing the risk of unauthorized access, data breaches, and identity theft. Implement a unified identity and access management solution that can authenticate and authorize users across multiple clouds and platforms.
  • Network security: Connecting different clouds and on-premises resources can create network vulnerabilities and expose the organization to cyberattacks, such as denial-of-service, man-in-the-middle, or phishing. Robust network security measures, such as firewalls, VPNs, and encryption, will secure the communication channels and prevent unauthorized traffic.
  • Threat detection and response: Monitoring and responding to threats across different clouds can be challenging and time-consuming, due to the lack of visibility and control over the distributed environment. Deploy advanced threat detection and response tools that can collect, analyze, and correlate security data from different sources and provide real-time alerts and remediation actions.

To address these security challenges, you need a holistic and proactive security approach. This includes implementing a security-by-design mindset, following security best practices and standards, leveraging cloud-native and third-party security solutions, and continuously monitoring and auditing their security posture. 

Enhance your security resilience and reduce your attack surface in the hybrid and multicloud era with our end-to-end cybersecurity offering.

Enterprise architecture: the glue between clouds

Enterprise architecture frameworks and tools enable organizations to design, plan, implement, and monitor their hybrid and multicloud architectures in a consistent and coherent way. They also ensure optimal cloud usage, interoperability, and integration across different platforms, help to enforce security and compliance policies, and make sure your company leverages the best features and services. In short, leveraging enterprise architecture ensures that your cloud strategy aligns with your business goals and delivers the expected benefits. 

At delaware, we’re happy to help you develop your optimal hybrid and multicloud strategy, while also keeping a close eye on the threat of vendor lock-in and overall security.

Rens Bonnez

Industry 4.0 & Supply Chain of the Future Architect

Connect with Rens on LinkedIn

Tom Vandewinckele

Senior Manager SAP & Microsoft Cloud Services

Connect with Tom on LinkedIn

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