Key Milestones on the Digital Enterprise Journey

Moving to the cloud is motivated by the need for scalable and flexible middleware, database, and cloud services, not by gaining instantaneous storage and compute capacity or cost reduction. Running on a hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure provides different advanced application services that business units can use to secure their digital transformation journey.

The shift to hybrid multi-cloud adoption for supporting IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) and PaaS (Platform as a service) is an essential milestone that an enterprise must evaluate, plan out, and ensure that it can take on the additional burden. We will discuss the critical milestones in the hybrid and multi-cloud adoption, such as architecture, security, operations, and vendor management.

Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Infrastructures

At first, companies could only build and run on-premise infrastructure, but with the advent of cloud technologies, hybrid infrastructures came to bring the best of both worlds. Hybrid cloud is a computing environment that has the public cloud and private cloud working together. It enables enterprises to gain the computing power and flexibility of the public cloud, while they can keep their business-critical data and applications on their private cloud.

The first cloud deployments focused on using a single cloud platform. That way, enterprises could build their operational capabilities up without having to train their employees for new skills. Once an enterprise has developed a functional model around cloud apps and established their cloud presence, it typically looks to diversify the capabilities available to their teams. That’s why they go multi-cloud (using several cloud platforms instead of only one) to gain efficiency through different cloud services.

Architecture Changes

To supporting hybrid multi-cloud platforms, enterprises need to make some architectural changes. The level of portability targeted between providers is the most critical decision organizations need to make early in the adoption process (versus the need for specialized and advanced capabilities available on platforms of some providers). When defining the technical implementations and functional requirements for an enterprise’s use of public cloud, the MVC (model-view-controller) is an important concept. To providing a consistent capability level in multi-cloud environments, the MVC requirements must stay uniform across all cloud deployments. Its technical implementation will vary based on specific architectural applications and provider capabilities.

Security Implementation

To ensure that the reliance on multiple cloud vendors doesn’t add additional risk to the enterprise’s security posture and response, security implementation should thoroughly be planned. Several key points that should be addressed across all cloud providers:

  • Security policy – a set of guidelines that control how the enterprise functions, levels of risk, rules for data handling, and processes followed.
  • Security controls – Process-based implementations (workflows, approvals, and checks) of the security policy to ensure that it is being followed.
  • Security governance – the enforcement of security policies across cloud and technology platforms. In a cloud environment, security governance should be automated to maximize agility for cloud users.
  • Technical implementation – technology is used for the implementation of security controls. This aspect can vary from vendor to vendor and the differences in their services.


Typically, operations are the most substantial investment in a hybrid multi-cloud deployment. Enterprises need to provide additional training to their staff to be able to manage all cloud platforms. Before the adoption of multiple-cloud platforms, you will need to have a CloudOps model (with a single cloud vendor) in place to ensure that there are both mature capabilities and processes to build upon internally. Enterprises will need to:

  • Enable cost transparency
  • Limit the blast radius
  • Maintain compliance
  • Minimize complexity
  • Increase resiliency posture
  • Increase developer agility
  • Secure access

Multiple Vendor Management

There is a need for vendor management in an environment that includes various cloud strategies. As cloud providers typically offer credits tied to spending on their specific platform, with a hybrid multi-cloud strategy also comes the risk of losing or splitting the credits. It requires enterprises to continually evaluate their hybrid multi-cloud strategies against the potential spend of all their IT capacity needs. It will ensure that the additional spend (if there’s any) coming from multiple cloud vendors will offset by other capabilities that are of value to the enterprise.

Many cloud implementations also require using third-party services and tools which provide enterprises the ability to manage capabilities across different vendors. You should assess third-party tools carefully to make sure they come with a pricing model that fits with their usage patterns.

The global market size for hybrid multi-cloud is expected to grow to $97 billion by 2023 (according to recent market research.) Therefore, adopting a hybrid multi-cloud strategy should be taken and implemented methodically. In your digital enterprise journey and adopting this strategy, these are the key milestones that start with a careful assessment of the complexity and added cost against the added benefits of using multiple cloud providers. Is it going to enable greater agility? Before deploying your second cloud platform, be sure to architect an MVC to ensure the vigorous enforcement of security policies and ensure parity for functional capability.

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