Posted: 01 Dec. 2022 5 min. read

Multi-cloud management doesn’t have to be (so) complex

Even though complexity can hinder multi-cloud success, it isn’t necessarily part and parcel of a multi-cloud environment

A blog post by David Linthicum, chief cloud strategy officer, Cloud Services, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Many enterprises explore multi-cloud architectures because they can provide enhanced flexibility and scalability, and they hold the potential to optimize cloud environments to business needs. Simply put, a multi-cloud approach enables organizations to choose the best services and features of different cloud providers, so they can leverage the tools they need and customize their environment to meet their performance requirements.

However, it’s often the case that instead of having multiple clouds working in concert, multi-cloud environments often devolve into isolated clouds working in silos. When that happens, each cloud environment requires dedicated operational teams and procedures, which adds complexity, heterogeneity, inconsistent operations, and security challenges. 

Even though organizations may find that a single service provider fulfills 80% of their cloud requirements, figuring out ways to build and utilize the remaining 20% can be the game changer- creating innovative things that change the company! That’s where multi-cloud becomes imperative.

To combat growing complexity, most organizations have begun to look for solutions that can help them maintain control and consistency over their multi-cloud environments while simplifying operations to run more effectively. With that goal in mind, they seek to leverage best-of-breed services and multi-cloud strategies that will allow them to decrease risk, drive innovation, and maximize value from their cloud investments.

Richard Munro, Director of Strategy, Office of the CTO at VMware, provides perspective on multi-cloud and the impetus for organizations to simplify their multi-cloud environment. "The multi-cloud goal is to accelerate your ability to use any technology that meets your business requirements,” says Munro. “A good multi-cloud strategy increases your ability to extract value from cloud services and applications while providing the flexibility of options to decrease the risk of doing so. We want people to be able to use any cloud, any application framework, anywhere."1

Strategies to reduce multi-cloud complexity

There are several ways that enterprises can combat growing multi-cloud complexity. One approach companies can deploy fairly quickly is the concept of cross-cloud services to aggregate and improve access to, and management of, the multiple cloud instances they’re running. These services provide an abstraction layer for the operation of various technologies and clouds to help organizations build, run, manage, and secure cloud apps across any cloud environment. Cross-cloud services can go a long way in helping companies meet the challenges of optimizing costs and achieving holistic operational and performance visibility.2

Forward-thinking companies are also beginning to leverage other technologies and approaches to reduce multi-cloud complexity. For example, some companies are beginning to deploy distributed multi-clouds. In the same vein as distributed architectures, distributed multi-clouds offer the flexibility to access the vast array of innovative offerings from various service providers, coupled with a unified model for security and operations.

Another approach to reducing multi-cloud complexity that companies can move toward is decentralized processing at the edge. Edge computing reduces processing latency and enhances processing speed, avoiding the need to do all processing in cloud, thus literally taking much of the load off the multi-cloud architecture. Many companies already leverage the edge; leveraging it across multiple clouds is simply one step further.

Going forward

Multi-cloud is here to stay, and it is becoming the de facto cloud architecture for many companies, but it is a complex environment and comes with its own set of challenges. However, choosing the right approach to reducing complexity, adapting to multi-cloud can be made a bit less difficult, enabling enterprises to derive more value from their cloud investments and wield significantly improved control over their cloud operations. 

If you’d like to learn more about reducing multi-cloud complexity, listen to our Deloitte On Cloud podcast, “Managing multi-cloud complexity, now and in the future.”





1 Richard Munro, “Multi-cloud: It’s not about avoiding lock-in — it’s about avoiding being locked out,” VMware Cloud Blog, August 12, 2021

2 VMware, “Accelerate digital business with VMware Cross-Cloud services,” accessed November 28, 2022.

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David Linthicum

David Linthicum

Managing Director | Chief Cloud Strategy Officer

As the chief cloud strategy officer for Deloitte Consulting LLP, David is responsible for building innovative technologies that help clients operate more efficiently while delivering strategies that enable them to disrupt their markets. David is widely respected as a visionary in cloud computing—he was recently named the number one cloud influencer in a report by Apollo Research. For more than 20 years, he has inspired corporations and start-ups to innovate and use resources more productively. As the author of more than 13 books and 5,000 articles, David’s thought leadership has appeared in InfoWorld, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, NPR, Gigaom, and Prior to joining Deloitte, David served as senior vice president at Cloud Technology Partners, where he grew the practice into a major force in the cloud computing market. Previously, he led Blue Mountain Labs, helping organizations find value in cloud and other emerging technologies. He is a graduate of George Mason University.