ESG Blog: Three Facts About Multi-Cloud That Will Surprise You
ESG recently completed a detailed research study on multi-cloud, its use, and future.

May 15, 2018
Edwin Yuen   ESG Blog: Three Facts About Multi-Cloud That Will Surprise You
Author: Edwin Yuen


Yuen_MulticloudAs I've often written, multi-cloud is probably the hottest term in the IT industry today. You literally cannot buy a product that connects to the cloud that isn't multi-cloud (unless it's from the rare company that aligns with only one cloud service provider). But one of the most interesting things is that there has been very little research on what defines multi-cloud, how extensive it is, why organizations are multi-cloud, and how it will change.

ESG recently completed a detailed research study on multi-cloud, its use, and future. For our ESG subscribers, I've written a couple of research briefs with the results but I've also created this video on three key aspects of multi-cloud that will surprise most people.

  1. Learn just how extensive multi-cloud use is right now and why the multi-cloud world is the standard today, not a future state.

  2. Learn why companies are now multi-cloud. Is it by accident? Was it a result of consolidation, shadow IT, or acquisitions? Or is IT making an active choice of cloud providers and if so, what is driving it?

  3. What is the future for multi-cloud? Will the public cloud market consolidate down to AWS and maybe one or two other providers? Will it stay the same as we see now or will the number of cloud providers proliferate?

Watch the video below to get some hard data on these aspects of multi-cloud and read my research briefs for even more information on how multi-cloud can impact your organization.

Read ESG Brief, The Current State of Multi-cloud Strategies.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Edwin Yuen, ESG Analyst for cloud, systems management, and data protection. And today, I'm here to talk about the current state of multi-cloud and some ESG research and findings around it. The concept of multi-cloud is one of the hottest buzzwords in the cloud market today. Reflecting the growing use of multiple cloud service providers, vendors who offer products that support public cloud must be multi-cloud compatible. But what are the reasons behind companies choosing to be multi-cloud? And what will be the future of the multi-cloud environments?

What is clear now is that use of multiple cloud providers is the primary public cloud operational model for organizations. ESG's IT Spending Intentions Survey showed that 81% of current cloud infrastructure users are now leveraging more than one public cloud provider. Organizations are looking towards public cloud services as solutions for their specific applications and workload requirements, and are willing to use multiple public clouds to find the best fit for their workloads. But what's driving the use of multi-cloud?

ESG conducted research with companies that were already using two or more public cloud providers, those who are multi-cloud. We asked why these companies are multi-cloud. 35% of the respondents said that they wanted to select the provider with the best fit for their applications. 31% selected support for specific workload capabilities. Organizations are using the needs of their workloads and applications to drive the selection of their cloud providers. ESG asked the current multi-cloud users how many cloud infrastructure providers they were currently using. 38% said they were using two providers but 61% said they were using three or more providers.

Multi-cloud means more than just one or two leading providers and a small number of accessory providers, but really a more diverse set of providers. Current IT is really using multi-cloud to its greatest effect by going to multiple cloud providers, three or more. But what does the future hold for multi-cloud? ESG asked the survey respondents in three years do they expect the number of cloud service providers their organization uses to increase, stay the same, or decrease. The majority, 53% expected it to increase, 44% expected it to stay the same, and only 2% expected the number of cloud service providers to actually decrease.

What we expect is that multi-cloud will continue to be the standard, and in fact, will continue to fragment with more providers rather than consolidate down. In summary, the use of multiple cloud providers in today's IT organization is the rule, not the exception. By moving past an infrastructure-centric view of resources, IT organizations are driving application deployment choices through application needs and the use of multi-cloud is the output of this shift.

What needs to happen now is for the operational tools, including systems management, data protection, and security to adapt to the growing use of multi-cloud and enable better cross-cloud management. Companies should continue to press their IT vendors to not just support multi-cloud environments but to engineer their solutions to take advantage of multi-cloud. Only when the entire IT ecosystem supports the growing multi-cloud model will organizations fully unlock the power of public cloud.

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