For countless organizations, a new calendar year means new tech challenges and potential new strategies ahead. Cloud technologies are so flexible with so many options that the best answer for a given organization may not be obvious. It takes a bit of research to analyze what these options mean to an organization, so let’s explore the cloud technology scene for 2018.

Multicloud vs. hybrid cloud

One of the most significant technology terms to emerge in 2017 was multicloud. This technology approach uses several cloud components made up of both public and private services from more than one service provider. Different than hybrid cloud, multicloud specifically uses multiple public clouds and joins them to serve one application. Hybrid is similar in that it uses different public and private cloud technologies to serve one application, but not necessarily from different vendors. Either by circumstance or by strategic planning, as companies embrace this practice, one of the principal challenges they’ll face is in the field of security, compliance, and cost rationalization of the different options. Ever more complex environments mean that greater risks are inevitable, and the beginning of a new year is an ideal opportunity for a thorough evaluation.

Multicloud cost leverage and optimization

Many firms have started using multicloud sources—using cloud services across various cloud providers instead of only one—because of cost savings. A recent study by BMC shows that 45 percent of IT decision-makers cite cost optimization as the biggest reason to adopt multicloud. Cost has emerged as a growing problem for organizations that deploy global digital businesses—thus the need for a solution that enables flexibility and does not lock them in. Enterprises using multiclouds are using the capability to model, design, benchmark and optimize cloud infrastructures. Combining an easy-to-use modeling application with a continuously updated catalog of multicloud assets is essential to quickly and accurately assessing and selecting the optimal computing storage, networking, and datacenter solutions for digital transformation to the cloud. Comprehensive, continuous price-performance benchmarking reports become table stakes in a multicloud environment where the enterprise can now arbitrage the different clouds.

The bad and good: security and compliance of multiclouds

Since the dawn of cloud services, great emphasis has been placed on rapid adoption and growth. Unfortunately, the convenience and deployment pace of commodity clouds has opened opportunities for gaps in security. This was exemplified in the last year when AWS customers endured very public security misconfiguration incidents in which data was mistakenly exposed. Accenture, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and many other well-known organizations were among those affected. Adding more cloud services with expanding on-premises services can multiply the opportunities to miss on security, adding potential risks across the board.