There are 3 public clouds left — Here’s why we’ll use all of them.

Why organizations, including GitLab, will opt for a multi-cloud future


IBM was the 4th public cloud if you leave the Chinese market dominated by Alibaba out of the picture. IBM Cloud was losing ground to the top 3 public clouds. They decided to acquire RedHat for 31% of their market cap. This was a big bet on a hybrid and multi-cloud future.

That means that there will be three public clouds left that each spend $10b+ per year on new data centers.

The question is if organizations will standardize on one cloud or go multi-cloud. Moving an application to another cloud after you used cloud specific services like Lambda, DynamoDB, and BigQuery is a lot of work for little payoff.

Despite that it is likely that most organizations will be multi-cloud for the following reasons:

  • People in the organization need capabilities that only one cloud provides.
  • Workflow portability where you can use the same workflow regardless of the deployment target is important.
  • In order to have a Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) in their negotiations with their cloud vendor companies need to have the ability to deploy to a different cloud.
  • While negotiating with a cloud vendor, they can request that you move existing workloads to them.
  • When you acquire a company they might have most of their applications on another cloud.
  • Some of your customers might refuse to use your preferred cloud because they compete with that vendor in another line of their business, like e-commerce for Amazon, CRM/ERP for Microsoft, and advertising for Google.