By Jessica Day
What is Multi-Cloud and Multi-Cloud Strategy?
Using a multi-cloud system involves using a combination of multiple cloud-based operating systems to access useful applications for your team. You can, for example, create online handbooks for new hires or share marketing material across your whole marketing team.
It is estimated that, this year, 98% of companies will be using a multi-cloud system.
Multi-cloud systems are incredibly useful to businesses operating over more than one location. Or, in the pandemic age, operating completely remotely.
The benefits of this system are wide-ranging. Introducing technology that promotes team cohesion can improve workplace productivity and save on hardware costs. Because of their subscription-based payment models, you’ll also be able to save on licensing expenses for software.
A multi-cloud system can obviously get complicated. When operating across multiple applications and services within your team, you’ll need to consider possible pitfalls that you might come across while creating your multi-cloud strategy.
A multi-cloud strategy looks at how you will implement a multi-cloud system to best suit your business’ needs. Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes that businesses make when creating and implementing their multi-cloud strategy:
1. Not Setting Realistic Expectations
What do you want your multi-cloud system to do?
This is the most fundamental thing that you need to know before building your multi-cloud strategy.
But before you even think of this, you need to make sure that you have fully optimised your current cloud system. Are you making the most of a single-cloud setup?
Once you know this, you can move on to your expectations for your multi-cloud strategy.
If you don’t have a concrete understanding of what you want your system to do, it’s likely you’ll be overwhelmed by applications that you don’t need and – worse still – don’t know how to use.
Once you’ve set your needs for the system, you then need to consider what the capabilities of your system are going to be.
For example, is your objective outsourcing to a call center? This is a cost-effective way of managing calls from customers and is becoming increasingly popular with businesses of all sizes. You can now use a cloud application to direct incoming calls to virtual agents. They can then answer customer queries from anywhere, even a home office.
For this, you should consider using a cloud communications platform. This will allow your agents to take calls from anywhere. Not only does this make customer service work more flexible, it means you can work around your team’s schedule and create a more dynamic team.
This relates to another mistake often made by businesses looking to adopt a multi-cloud strategy:
2. Not Considering Complexity
If you are looking into a multi-cloud strategy, the chances are your team has some degree of complexity in it. The same can be said of a multi-cloud system. You shouldn’t overlook the potential complexity of using multiple cloud-based systems at the same time.
Imagine that you are setting up a CCaaS platform for your business – you’ve decided this is the best way to provide tailored and rapid customer service.
A CCaaS – or contact centre as a service – platform will allow you to manage all your customer service needs through a cloud-based system. This is likely to be one of many cloud-based systems that you work with, and you’ll need to consider how it interacts with other systems that you use.
For example, if your customer service cloud system features a digital voicemail application, you’ll need to consider how to transfer the transcriptions that it generates across your multi-cloud system. If a team member who doesn’t work directly with the customer service platform needs access, how will they go about getting it?
Another example you might consider is with internal calls. If your setup figures out how to record phone calls to get internal queries answered quickly, think about whether you want this available on all of your systems. Is the system scalable? Can you roll it out across all of your cloud systems to all of your team?
When creating your strategy, complexity is key. Accounting for the complexity of the new system will help your IT team to avoid unnecessary delays in rolling out your multi-cloud strategy.
3. Not Investing in Talent
Cloud-based systems are a new and dynamic way of working. Developing a multi-cloud strategy is an exciting step in growing your business, so a straightforward development process is a real plus.
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is not investing time and money in finding the right talent. IT is becoming more of a specialised field every day, so finding the right people to implement your strategy is the key to a smooth transition.
Your developing team should be familiar with your business objectives as they relate to your multi-cloud strategy. They should be able to work alongside any in-house IT specialists to make sure that your system works for you. This will also help everyone in the team get to grips with the new system and any early issues that arise from it.
However, it’s not purely technical talent that you need to invest in. An efficient project manager will understand what applications your team uses the most, and what applications are surplus to requirement.
It can be difficult to avoid overspending when introducing a multi-cloud strategy to your business, but the right project manager can help to avoid this. Most cloud systems will allow you to choose which applications you need and pay for only those, so it’s important to understand what it is that you actually need.
For example, sales funnel software is an incredibly useful technology for all online businesses. If your business uses a multi-cloud system to host this software, it’s likely you’re investing a lot of time and money into the sales part of your business.
Now consider whether this software is optimised to your business’ needs. If the majority of your sales leads come from social media, investing in a sales funnel beginning with a search engine might not be for you.
The right team will implement your multi-cloud strategy with your needs at the forefront. Investing in talent will save on costs and time, and make your multi-cloud system as streamlined as possible.
4. Not Considering Security Concerns
You can do pretty much anything with the right cloud system today. Businesses are finding that for team meetings and calling, cloud systems are especially useful.
Having a multi-cloud system means that you may be using at least one public cloud alongside at least one private cloud. You might assume that, as a constantly developing technology, multi-cloud systems are automatically very secure.
However, you’ll need to pay attention to configuration compliance and whether your multi-cloud strategy meets this. You will need to know any external data collection and storage legislation that might be affected by using a public cloud.
You will also need to work through the code of best practice for your business. Does it need updating with your new multi-cloud system?
It’s best to conduct a review of how secure your multi-cloud system is at regular intervals.
What might a security review look like?
Consider an app with a virtual phone number. You can reach your team anywhere and on any device. Their contact information is stored on the cloud so that any team member can contact anyone else within that team.
You will need to check who can access this cloud system. Data breaches and loss are one of the biggest causes of lost revenue to companies, so you will want to avoid this. Finding security problems before they become a problem is the best way to avoid any security issues that might come with using a public cloud.
Your Next Steps
This depends on what you are planning to do with your cloud system.
If you are considering scaling up your multi-cloud system, then you’ll need to know how to test system functionality for your new setup. Can you use your storage in the same way as before? Does everyone in your team have access to everything that they need?
Considering these things will help to make the transition smoother.
If you’re new to multi-cloud systems and strategy, and looking to bring it into your way of working, check out what solutions are available to you.
Be sure to consider these potential mistakes when investing in a multi-cloud strategy to save your business valuable time and money.
About the Author
Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business communications platform offering call recording solutions and the best small business phone system that takes every kind of conversation to the next level – turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimise marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. Here is her LinkedIn.