Raman Sharma, VP of Product Marketing at DigitalOcean, says multicloud is a reality of modern computing. “Increasingly, more and more developers and developer-led businesses and startups are beginning to adopt multicloud,” he says. “They compute from one, manage artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI and ML) from another, communications API from another, and so on. Modern apps, in general, are often composed by stitching together various services, a model that lends itself well to the multicloud philosophy.”
Grand View Research predicts the global multicloud management market to grow at a take-notice 26.3 percent CAGR from 2021 to 2028 to reach an estimated $32.75 billion. Grand View points out that ISVs are driving that market, relying more on virtualization as they evolve “from software developers to software providers.” Cloud gives developers the scalability, flexibility, and customized services, and working with multiple vendors to host cloud development allows ISVs to find services that precisely address their needs.
Sharma points out that some software companies adopt a hybrid cloud development strategy – retaining elements of on-premises infrastructure in addition to using one or more clouds – before shifting to multicloud. “Most large enterprises didn’t start in the cloud. They had a lot of investment in legacy on-premises infrastructure,” he explains. “They find the hybrid model an easier ramp into the cloud to minimize disruption.”
“On the other hand, most modern digital-first businesses could not have existed without the cloud,” Sharma says. “So, they tend to be cloud-first. Within this mindset, their decision to go with multiple clouds or a single one is often driven by practical necessity rather than dogma.”
The Advantages of a Multicloud Strategy for Software Companies
According to Sharma, software companies benefit from multicloud strategies in multiple ways. “It allows them to diversify the risk they would face from being too reliant on a single provider and enables them to fulfill requirements around redundancy and availability,” he says. “A multicloud strategy ultimately lets companies pick and choose best of breed component services from different cloud providers.”
However, he adds that leveraging multiple clouds for a software company’s cloud development strategy can also help ISVs develop more attractive solutions. “Their customers benefit because these applications tend to be more reliable,” he adds. “They can be made available in more locations and tend to have richer functionality by virtue of leveraging the best services available across clouds.”
Solutions supported by multiple clouds can help a software company differentiate their brand in a crowded market, demonstrate greater value to clients – and ultimately grow their businesses.
Steps Toward a Successful Multicloud Development Strategy
Sharma concedes that the decision to transition to a multicloud strategy must be well thought out. “The benefits need to outweigh the costs,” he comments. He suggests answering these questions as you make your decision:
- Does the app need to be built on multicloud architecture?
- Does the team have the expertise and bandwidth to be able to manage infrastructure across cloud providers?
- Does the team have a unified view of their cloud investments?
- If things go wrong, do the architecture and separation of concerns enable the teams to troubleshoot effectively without overwhelming the team with complexity?
If you determine using multiple clouds is right for your solution, create a solid strategy that will help you reach your business goals. “Multicloud requires some extra planning upfront but, if done right, can bring a ton of benefits,” Sharma says.