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Challenges that CIOs face in Multi-Cloud Adaptation

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Several enterprises are moving ahead with the adaptation of multi-cloud strategy. This brief article addresses the challenges organizations face while using multiple cloud providers.

Several enterprises are moving ahead with the adaptation of multi-cloud strategy and obviously this means more challenges for the organizations would face in managing the cloud. This also means that there should be a successful multi-cloud strategy in place to meet the challenges.

As multi-cloud strategies continue to mature, CIOs should weigh in on the challenges of multi-cloud IT shops which they commonly encounter and must solve to maximize the potential benefits. They should not be viewed as deal-breakers for a long-term multi-cloud strategy, but rather as opportunities for learning and proactive solutions. Let’s dive into those challenges in adaptation of multi-cloud strategy.

Data Governance and Compliance
Data jurisdiction drives some organizations’ move to a multi-cloud strategy: With multiple clouds and data centers in multiple geographical regions, CIOs can achieve both flexibility and compliance. But this doesn’t happen automatically as one of the challenges lies in understanding where, exactly, your data physically resides. Moving applications to the cloud doesn’t eliminate the need to meet certain data governance requirements. In a multi-cloud environment it may be easier to make a mistake and not realize that a specific application or piece of an application is running in an unapproved environment — for instance, the ITAR, GDPR compliance and several others. These types of regulations state that the data cannot be accessible to non-U.S. citizens or stored outside of the United States. In fact, these type of compliance issues can cause major challenges for CIOs when deploying in a multi-cloud environment because each instance must be scrutinized.

This may also be a reason why a multi-cloud strategy is increasingly favorable to go hand-in-hand with hybrid cloud. By integrating various public and private cloud environments with your on-premises infrastructure, CIOs may be better positioned to address some of the data residency complications that can arise. Hence, hybrid cloud is likely to be an increasingly appealing architectural choice for proactively managing data in a multi-cloud environment.

Software Reconfiguration
One of the key challenge in the multi-cloud environment is the software pipeline. In other words, one of the challenge is the complexity it may introduce to application delivery. Organizations should avoid cases that require reconfiguration or cloud-specific adaptation of applications, as well as any feature disparity. This also reflects the importance of standardization – standardizing on tools and processes is a common characteristic of effective DevOps teams, for example – to the scalability and flexibility of multi-cloud environments.

Security
Moving to a multi-cloud strategy does not mean CIOs should outsource security entirely to the vendors. Yes, they should have top-notch protocols and tools in place, but security ultimately remains the responsibility of the CIOs. Cloud risk management is especially critical in multi-cloud environments. Effective cloud risk management incorporate Zero Trust security models, including least privilege access and multi-factor authentication needs to be mandated. This means that every component in the cloud infrastructure like routers, firewalls, storage and other systems, must be secured with multi-factor authentication.

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