Graeme O'driscoll
Graeme O'driscoll Head: Software Engineering

Since cloud computing first appeared on the IT horizon, its adoption has been rapid.

men looking at a computer

Top governance challenges in a multi-cloud world

It’s been so rapid that we’ve gone from talking about what the cloud is and why to move to it, to ways to most effectively manage multi-cloud environments. This popularity has grown to a point where more companies are using more clouds.

Migrating to multiple clouds is a strategy that can allow for cost optimisation, risk mitigation and sustained agility – three key aspects of meeting evolving business and customer needs. On average, mid-size businesses and larger enterprises are running applications in two public and two private clouds – and they’re experimenting with another two of each. This presents exciting new possibilities, but it also brings more than a few challenges for IT – not least of which is finding the proper expertise to manage the myriad clouds.Here are a few of the others.

Security

Ensuring security across platforms is a top concern for IT leaders. Research indicates that security will be the main area of cloud-spend over the next two to three years – and with good reason too. Multiple clouds mean a broader potential attack surface with new vulnerabilities. Protecting company data is critical because the costs of a data breach extend far beyond financial losses to the realms of long-lasting reputational damage.

Managing the security risks of multi-cloud environments requires new approaches and tools. Often, outsourcing to an experienced, expert cloud provider is simpler (and more cost-effective) than trying to operate all the barricades in-house.

Performance

Ensuring optimal performance is another key focus area for the IT department - slow is a no, which  is more challenging in a multi-cloud world. The one-size-fits-all approach to cloud computing is outdated. Every company has unique needs – cloud platforms that work wonderfully for some workloads may be sub-par for others. Again, an external cloud provider can help identify the best cloud strategy, streamlining performance and costs.

Cloud governance and control

Increasingly complex network real estate makes for increasingly complex governance challenges. Smooth governance is essential for the fast, reliable delivery of services, and it’s also central to meeting the enterprise’s budgetary, security, compliance and visibility needs.

In a multi-cloud context, effective governance and control depends on integration and centralisation. This can be achieved through well-defined policies, simplified provisioning with role-based access, easy resource monitoring (just one management portal), automation of routine procedures (a real time-saver), and cloud usage insights (to reduce unnecessary expenditure).

Visibility and operations

When you’re juggling several cloud platforms and a corresponding number of control panels, it’s easy to miss valuable insights. Without a single, integrated dashboard to monitor the various clouds being used, companies may find that resources are being unnecessarily duplicated, and urgent issues are not being attended to as quickly as they could (and should) be. This is where the end-to-end visibility of cloud services performance, across all on-premise and hosted services, can make a big difference.

SkyLight as a solution

Enter SkyLight – an IT solution that responds to the governance challenges of multi-cloud environments. SkyLight provides secure, on-demand access to a range of local and international cloud platforms such as Internet Solutions, Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure, among others. It allows you to custom-build your virtual infrastructure to meet the changing needs of your business.

You can monitor, maintain and modify your multi-cloud environment from a unified management portal, which gives you unprecedented control. And the range of pricing and payment options makes the financial aspects that much simpler and more transparent. Whether you opt for fixed contract or pay-as-you-use, your bill will be consolidated and your usage detailed.

SkyLight helps to ensure that a multi-cloud environment adds a competitive edge, not chaos, to enterprises by strengthening the IT department’s position as a key creator of business value.

To deepen your understanding of the challenges inherent in a multi-cloud environment, take a look at our comprehensive Cloud Management Challenges guide.

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