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To get to the multi-cloud, follow the innovating vendors

A multi-cloud strategy will give healthcare organizations the flexibility to migrate between cloud vendors - and take advantage of falling prices.

Jeff Rowe | May 11, 2018 12:00 am

It may seem a bit counterintuitive, but healthcare organizations still on the threshold of the cloud may want to take a look at the advice tech vendors are getting as they assess their own efforts to capture more customers.

To wit, in a recent piece at CloudTech, tech writer Spencer Kimball suggested frankly, “No decision maker worth their salt is going to want to embrace a single cloud platform to the exclusion of all others.”

In other words, experienced IT managers are moving to hybrid and multi-cloud setups, so healthcare organizations still new to the market should likely consider doing the same.  

As Kimball explained, “While most organizations will remain on a single cloud this year, they will be actively seeking out options to avoid being trapped on that cloud. More and more enterprises will be moving away from expensive and limiting proprietary cloud storage technologies . . .”

Indeed, he notes, “Most large enterprises have instituted mandates for a multi-cloud strategy. SMBs (Small and Medium Businesses) would do well to plan for one, even if it will not be a practical reality in the near term. There is a non-trivial cost to building for multi-cloud deployments, because they require a layer of abstraction between a company's IT footprint and the underlying cloud vendor's APIs. However, not building from the start for multi-cloud makes the eventual transition increasingly difficult, as each additional vendor-specific hook is utilized directly by deployed services. The good news is that the necessary layer of abstraction is rapidly evolving via open source and commercially-supported offerings.”

In his view, implementing a multi-cloud strategy requires first and foremost that “IT leaders select cloud-neutral technologies. Proprietary services and software that are part of a public cloud's PaaS offering create significant lock-in. Credible, compatible alternatives often don't exist, and worse, migration paths are incomplete and poorly supported.”

In short, putting all of an enterprise's eggs into a single cloud vendor's basket “invites risks resulting from the vendor's potential systemic security and/or operational shortcomings. A multi-cloud strategy will give enterprises the flexibility to migrate between cloud vendors - and take advantage of falling prices.”