Jul 29 2020

CDW Tech Talk: How Businesses Can Get the Most Out of Their Multicloud Environments

The cloud can be both cost-effective and efficient for workers, but organizations need the right strategy.

The cloud has become increasingly critical to businesses as they have shifted to remote work. Use of the cloud isn’t new, but dispersed workforces have made the ability to access data and applications from anywhere crucial to business continuity, particularly during these economically disruptive times.

“A lot has changed with this new normal, but we still need to move at the speed of business,” said Amanda Blevins, chief technologist in the Office of the CTO at VMware. “We still need to deliver from an IT perspective on what our new business objectives are.”

At “Reinforcing Business Stability and IT Cost Control,” part of CDW’s Tech Talk series, Blevins noted that widespread remote work has adjusted priorities.

“Whether it’s a corporate-issued device, their personal computers, their personal tablets, their own phones, we want to make sure that they have the same capabilities to be able to access those applications regardless of the device that they’re coming in on and be able to do their jobs as they did at any time,” she said.

But Blevins added that the underlying plans to get there haven’t been altered much.

“Technology itself and the strategy that we’ve had for the last few years don’t actually change,” she said.

The new normal has placed a greater emphasis on simplicity and ease of use, which can be hard to come by in multicloud environments.

The Challenges of Multicloud Environments

Businesses have long juggled options when it comes to the cloud. Private and public cloud solutions each have advantages, and many organizations have tried to capitalize on these by using both for different processes. But that isn’t necessarily a cure-all, Blevins said.

“That’s one of the challenges of using a multicloud environment,” Blevins said. “Each cloud provider, including VMware, has its own format, its own approach, its own APIs. And that’s what makes it difficult. So you can’t have the same infrastructure everywhere unless you only use one cloud provider, but that generally isn’t realistic for businesses.”

This challenge weighs not only on IT departments but also on organizations’ bottom lines.

“This is where your costs really go up, because that means you’re using different toolsets, different processes, and your teams are working harder,” Blevins said. “Generally you need more people to be able to manage that, or your people are spread very thin. But if we gave you the same operational approach and the same toolsets to be able to run, manage and secure workloads on all of those clouds, well, that will definitely bring your costs way down.”

MORE FROM BIZTECH: Learn why moving data protection to the cloud could be beneficial amid remote work.

How to Simplify Cloud Infrastructure

Differences in cloud interfaces can be a heavy burden on developers because they have to repeat processes in multiple environments to achieve the goal. Blevins said that using infrastructure as code can eliminate some of these burdens.

When everything is code, developers can have continuous integration and continuous development pipelines, she said. “That way, you can tie right into those CI/CD pipelines that your developers use so they can have that developer-consistent experience that they’re looking for.”

These pipelines can automate things like security, backups, data recovery and management, and monitoring. This can allow developers to keep their involvement high-level, freeing up their time to attend to other matters.

“All they know is that when they check in their code, it gets deployed automatically through the pipelines that you built,” Blevins said. “All of this happens through the pipeline automatically when they check in their code to deploy that application.”

Multicloud environments can help businesses make the most of the cloud. With the right strategy, they can create an infrastructure that’s both efficient and cost-effective.

Follow BizTech’s coverage of CDW’s Tech Talk series here. Insiders can register for it here.

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