The Multi-Cloud Future — Why Just “Cloud” and Not “Multi-Cloud” Will Impede Your Business Growth
The cloud as we know it has changed. And so has the reasons that have motivated organizations to adopt cloud computing. This is the first of a multi part series.
Over half a decade ago, Wired news broke the news that we open sourced our secret weapon in cloud computing. We called it Kubernetes. You can still read it here.
What happened subsequently is history. Kubernetes has become the lingua franca of cloud computing. Now cloud computing is already on the cusp of its next iteration of evolution and we at Google have already laid the foundations to make that happen.
Despite what people around the world and businesses around the world have been going through over the course of the past year, industries at large have shown considerable growth. A report from Ibisworld indicates that Online Groceries Sales have grown 74.5%, Medicine Manufacturing 68.8%, Financial Services 27.4%, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Manufacturing 26.7% and Video Streaming 24.0%.
Another sign of consistent growth across industries is the volume of Mergers and Acquisitions. As of mid-September 2020, there were 15 mega M&A deals valued at up to about $50 billion. Current developments and trends drive a need for capabilities that promotes not only classic M&A but also alternative deal types such as joint ventures, strategic alliances, and corporate venturing.
So what has all this got to do with multi-cloud? Let’s picture a couple of business scenarios that this level of business growth can lead to.
Scenario 1 — BigFinTech Inc is expanding into new geographies
A fictitious company called BigFinTech Inc is expanding into new geographies, including remote European regions. While great for business, they are being rapped on the knuckles by local regulators to store and process data locally in the respective regions. BigFinTech is 100% on AWS, but AWS does not have a data center in a couple of those regions where they are expanding. Google Cloud does.
While they could move data, analytics workloads to Google Cloud, they still need data on AWS to fulfill all their regional analytics needs. Replicating data violates their data sovereignty regulations. Would they stop business expansion due to data center limitations?
Scenario 2 — Cloud-native Company Great Inc is Being Acquired
Another fictitious cloud-native company called Great Inc is big on Google Cloud with a large commitment and has now been acquired by EvenBigger Inc that has an even larger commitment to Azure. EvenBigger’s user authentication is based on Active Directory and they have been adopting Azure AD.
EvenBigger needs to adopt AD for all of Great’s new user base as well. They look to unify into one business platform post acquisition, so they can cross-leverage each other’s business strengths and customer base. But they also need to keep current data where it resides, as many of their data structures don’t have significant overlaps.
Any business that is growing and expanding needs to necessarily contend with scenarios such as above. In this cloud-first world, being able to live with multiple cloud platforms is not only essential, but becomes a core enabling factor that can support the growth of business.
After all, no CEO would ever decide against making a strategic acquisition or go against regulators or compromise on compliance needs or gleefully get locked in to one vendor — because, you know what “I love my cloud, so let me just stick with my favorite cloud platform”.
It’s not surprising that Gartner predicted,
By 2021, over 75% of midsize and large organizations will have adopted a multicloud and/or hybrid IT strategy.
We at Google see the reality of this prediction already unfolding, as we partner with some of the largest enterprises in enabling their multi-cloud journey. Each enterprise is different, every industry calls for addressing unique nuances. More so in the world of financial services — where compliance and regulations have a big say on why and how enterprises take up their multi-cloud journey.
In the next edition, we’ll dig a little deeper into precisely that — what exactly are the different reasons that an enterprise should adopt a multi-cloud strategy.