85% of companies now operating in a multi-cloud environment

Organisations are embracing the use of multiple clouds, but formal management is lagging

Illustration of a code cloud raining over a city

The rapid expansion of cloud-based services and a wealth of choice around the cloud has resulted in more competition than ever before. Increasingly, organisations are now choosing to mix and match cloud solutions, rather than choose between multiple technologies and vendors.

Using more than one cloud service this way is known as multi-cloud; not to be confused with hybrid cloud, which is using both public and private clouds in a business. 

The use of multiple clouds for businesses is growing in popularity and according to a survey from IBM, 85% of organisations are now using multiple clouds in their business. 

To complicate things, the majority of these environments are made up of multiple hybrid clouds. 76% of the organisations surveyed reported that they were already using from two to 15 hybrid clouds.

It is also important to note that this only includes the clouds that IT executives are aware of. Shadow IT and cloud services used without official authorisation are a growing issue and mean the actual number of clouds used in businesses may be higher than the IT department reports.

Over the next three years, IBM forecasts that the number of companies using multiple clouds will grow to 98%. At present, however just 41% of these businesses have an active multi-cloud strategy, meaning many are managing multiple clouds on the fly as services are added on. This can put departments at risk of cloud sprawl, where fast and unchecked cloud adoption can cause issues with security and compliance.

Of the organisations operating in a multi-cloud environment, IBM's survey found that just under half were establishing a formal multi-cloud architecture in order to enable a more unified management of cloud services. 

Use of formal procedures and tools to operate a multi-cloud environment is also low, but growing. Configuration management tools and multi-cloud management platforms are growing in popularity among enterprises in particular as a way to choreograph workloads and fully embrace the benefits of multiple clouds.

But multi-cloud isn't just something enterprises can make use of. Many consumers use multiple cloud services in everyday life, and many businesses do so without necessarily realising it. 

Although formal multi-cloud management may be lagging behind adoption, the unlimited choice and flexibility that organisations get with their cloud deployments are proving particularly beneficial to digital transformation efforts.

Featured Resources

How to choose an AI vendor

Five key things to look for in an AI vendor

Download now

The UK 2020 Databerg report

Cloud adoption trends in the UK and recommendations for cloud migration

Download now

2021 state of email security report: Ransomware on the rise

Securing the enterprise in the COVID world

Download now

The impact of AWS in the UK

How AWS is powering Britain's fastest-growing companies

Download now

Recommended

Most CISOs worry cloud software flaws aren’t being caught
cloud security

Most CISOs worry cloud software flaws aren’t being caught

7 Jun 2021
Cloudera to acquire Datacoral and Cazena before going through its own acquisition
Acquisition

Cloudera to acquire Datacoral and Cazena before going through its own acquisition

1 Jun 2021
The secure cloud configuration imperative
Whitepaper

The secure cloud configuration imperative

26 May 2021
Google Photos is free for just one more month
Google Docs

Google Photos is free for just one more month

30 Apr 2021

Most Popular

Q&A: Enabling transformation
Sponsored

Q&A: Enabling transformation

10 Jun 2021
How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

16 Jun 2021
Millions of Volkswagen customers affected by data breach
data breaches

Millions of Volkswagen customers affected by data breach

14 Jun 2021