In response, companies have gradually chosen to take a cloud-neutral approach and use generic services common to any provider. Under the guise of a “multicloud” strategy, they were ultimately looking for a bias so as not to be losers in the customer / supplier relationship. But does choosing a multicloud approach really reduce their dependence on suppliers? Let’s zoom in on some issues.
The massive use of automation in cloud deployments has lessened the risk of owner lock-in. Automation can dramatically reduce manual and repetitive tasks related to provisioning and workload management. Previously, deploying and operating workloads was a tedious process. Today, IT teams rely on orchestration and automation tools that run on their virtualized environment.
When implemented correctly, cloud automation saves time and money for teams who are now less expensive to switch providers.
Do not benefit from the advantages
When a business chooses to use only the basic services of a service provider (server-based compute, databases, network, etc.), it is missing out on one of the biggest advantages of switching to the cloud, ie doing less itself.
Because the objective of a cloud migration is to lighten the IT teams of the weight of certain repetitive workloads, in order to allow them to concentrate on tasks offering more added value to the company. To achieve this even faster, companies are increasingly opting for managed services.
Concretely, if you use AWS, you can rely on services such as Amazon Aurora (relational database service) and DynamoDB (NoSQL database service) to facilitate the daily life of your IT teams. Making such a technological choice by putting “all your eggs in one basket” means choosing to benefit from a significant operational impact, optimized performance and controlled costs.
A company which, for fear of the “vendor lock-in”, would level the use of cloud services to the bottom, would risk missing out on what makes the strength of the cloud: the creation of value. In the interests of efficiency, companies therefore have an interest in taking advantage of the cloud and of the increasingly numerous managed services on the market, at the risk of not seizing the associated operational and financial advantages.
A trompe l’oeil change
Seen in this light, the multicloud strategy has a goal other than the fear of lock-in: to allow IT and business teams to maximize their performance. Thus, as they mature in their use of the cloud and in their DevOps approach, they consume specific services from cloud providers that more closely match their challenges.
They use automation to reduce the impact of a future change of supplier. This regularly leads to an 80/20 breakdown: 80% of cloud services are consumed by a main actor and 20% by other actors, variable according to the situation of the company. But the principle of engagement remains the same: companies have a main supplier and use the services of other actors when it is appropriate.
By choosing to focus on providing value, IT teams are effectively seeking to avoid duplicating a set of tools, except when it is essential. Today, the maturity of administration / operations tools is such that they support multiple clouds without reducing their efficiency.
Automation playbooks can easily support multiple clouds (eg Terraform), as can observability tools or the main market security solutions (eg Trendmicro Cloud One). Many of these tools are all the more effective when they are deployed across different platforms / infrastructures.
The guiding principle of a multicloud strategy is to maximize the business value that the IT team is able to deliver. To achieve this, the company must become more efficient (by using the right service and the right tool at the right time) and reduce the costs that slow down the achievement of this objective. In the age of the cloud, proprietary lock-in should be low on the list of business concerns. So don’t let old demons slow down the performance of your teams and your organization!