What Challenges Will You Face as You Scale a Multicloud Strategy?

Multicloud freedom is possible. Learn from the leaders who have successfully scaled their multicloud environment and adopted best practices for improved data management, access, and storage costs.

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“In ideal terms, the multicloud world allows data workloads to be migrated on, off, and among different clouds in a frictionless manner and as needed—no lock-in, no concern of throttling, and no penalties for pulling data off and moving workloads around.”

“But this world doesn’t exist today.”
— Ravi Naik, CIO and EVP of Storage Services, Seagate

As you plan to scale your organization’s multicloud strategy, recognize that in addition to the rewards, there will also be challenges.

Today, we only have multiple clouds with repositories, each allowing data to get in easily. Getting data out, however, is another story. The various clouds do not transparently talk to each other, inhibiting the ability that makes multiple clouds attractive: data flow to the right places at the right time. As a result, the data’s potential business value is often not realized. This is a problem.

Seagate recently partnered with the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), a technology analysis, research, validation, and strategy company, to conduct a survey of senior leaders across the globe whose organizations store data across multiple clouds. In the context of the messy multiple-cloud reality, the survey focused on how enterprises can best support and optimize the value of data as business currency.

The report based on the survey clearly shows that what businesses do with their data matters. It makes a difference in outcomes, such as revenues, profits, net promoter score, the ability to meet budgetary goals, and even the valuation of a company.

The survey analysis contributed to creating a data maturity model that offers three levels: least mature, moderately mature, and leaders. The survey results essentially grouped challenges into two main categories: managing data-related costs and maximizing data-driven innovation. 

Recommendations were derived from the business practices of the leading enterprises.

Managing data-related costs

In the data cost category, 30% of respondents were least mature, 52% were moderately mature, and 18% were leaders. Though 84% of respondents indicated that there is an opportunity for their organization to better leverage existing data to create business value:

  • 73% reported that their organization is hampered by data retention costs which limit their ability to maximize data value.
  • Nearly three-fifths reported that data storage costs have caused them to delete otherwise valuable data in the past year. 
  • 81% sayid they often incur unexpected cloud costs related to data egress and ingress after a migration.
  • 79% saidy “timing and budget forecasting is extremely challenging to do accurately.”
  • 78% reported that they “often incur unexpected cloud costs related to the number of API calls made by applications after a migration.”

According to survey responses, the primary challenges around data-related costs are:

  • High egress fees and existing commitments that lock data in with a provider and prevent easy movement between environments. It makes it harder for data to go where it is needed or where it can renderinsights.
  • Splitting data between environments limits workload portability and increases compliance risks.
  • Exponential data growth, high costs, and hidden fees substantially increase storage total cost of ownership (TCO).
  • Fragmented systems require companies to double down on security.

Based on data management practices adopted by the most mature enterprises, the report offers these recommendations:

  • Leverage third-party tools that help measure the cost of cloud resources for every deployment decision. 
  • Before deploying applications, evaluate multiple requirements—such as performance, availability, data mobility, API, and user network bandwidth—to ensure your application can deliver the expected user experience. 
  • Once applications are up and running, continue to monitor the environment to ensure requirements or capabilities do not change over time. 
  • To ensure that your organization continues managing cloud costs effectively, invest in the right tools and training. 
  • Automate processes to reduce the burden on personnel as much as possible. 

In the data access category, 27% of respondents were least mature, 59% were moderately mature, and 14% were leaders. The survey results clearly show that organizations saw meaningfully better business outcomes when data consumers could free up their data and effectively use the cloud. The most mature organizations in this category:

  • Are growing data-related revenue 57% faster than their less mature peers.
  • Have launched 2.5× times as many products/services reliant on data innovation in the last 12 months.
  • Are 2.6 time more likely to say product innovation drives higher customer satisfaction.
  • Are 2.8 times more likely to have strengthened their competitive position.
  • Are 2.2 times more likely to have grown customer wallet share.
  • Are 6.3 times more likely to go to market months or quarters ahead of their competition.
  • Had higher net promoter scores (measuring the satisfaction and positive impression of the “data.

The most mature companies responding to the ESG survey saw their businesses thrive when they: 

  • Offered streamlined access to data, 
  • Enabled data’s seamless movement to get data to innovators quickly, 
  • Enabled self-service for data and infrastructure consumers,
  • Frequently educated data consumers on how to provision data and infrastructure.

These recommendations are based on the responses from leading companies:

  • Streamline access.Measuring your perception and your internal customers’ perception of how well they access data is key. Work with different groups and in a stepwise fashion to determine how to improve access for each set of users.
  • Accelerate access with self-service. Allowing different data consumers to see and use data on their own will greatly increase their ability to innovate and therefore increase their satisfaction. Look for tools to aid the self-service journeys of different user groups and design access protocols from there.
  • Invest in tech that seamlessly moves data. Focus on moving the right datato the right place at the right time. This could be accomplished using multiple technologies, from very sophisticated application service mesh to orchestrated secure file transfer protocol.Remember to take data governance and country regulations into consideration.
  • Train early and often. Education can lead to acceptance and better use of the data infrastructure. Leverage IT resources and partner with outside departments. Remember to tailor training to different data consumer groups within the organization.
  • Measure the net promoter score of data consumers. This will give you a numerical value for each of the groups you service with data that indicates how well they think you satisfy their data needs. If the score is not high, follow up with questions and action. 

Scaling in a multi-cloud environment is difficult. Invariably, companies that scale successfully are the ones that put data at the core of all they do. The most mature multicloud strategies are data-centric strategies. 

Seagate offers two unique tools that enable companies to redesign their cloud infrastructure strategy in a way that puts multicloud freedom at the center, helps address data costs and data-driven innovation challenges, and enables enterprises to pursue data-centric strategies: 

  • Lyve™ Cloud is a storage-as-a-service offering that simplifies complex multiple cloud management systems. In addition to moving an enterprise closer to a true multicloud environment, it allows organizations to store data they might previously have been forced to delete. The result: business leaders can cost-effectively make the most of their data and spur data-driven innovation.
  • Lyve Mobile provides data-transfer-as-a-service, and offers a high-capacity edge storage solution. Lyve Mobile eliminates network dependencies so you can transfer mass data sets in a fast, secure, and efficient manner. With on-demand consumption delivered as a service, you order and pay only for the devices you need, when you need them.

To learn more about how to enable a frictionless multicloud ecosystem with cost-effective storage and seamless data mobility, explore Lyve Cloud and Lyve Mobile in detail and talk to an expert here.