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Why CIOs should bet on multi-cloud adoption

Cloud adoption and the ability to embrace a multi-cloud strategy has become the new reality for forward-thinking organizations and their IT leaders, according to Marco Meinardi, research director at Gartner. But multi-cloud management certainly isn't devoid of challenges: Meinardi points to the lack of standardization between cloud providers as the biggest pain point associated with multi-cloud adoption.

In this video filmed at the recent Gartner Catalyst Conference, Meinardi explains the benefits of multi-cloud adoption, including how it helps with risk mitigation and avoiding vendor lock-in. He also explains why managing a multi-cloud environment can be complicated and requires the right skill sets to be successful.

Editor's note: The following transcript has been edited for clarity and length.

Should a CIO's cloud strategy include multi-cloud adoption?

Marco Meinardi: The answer is yes. Multi-cloud is a very important aspect of a cloud strategy. Today, there's no organization that's choosing a single provider to go with. Yes, they are choosing maybe a single provider to start with, but the more forward-thinking organizations absolutely know as a fact that, ultimately, their strategy will include multiple [cloud] vendors.

The biggest pain point is that right now there is no standardization between cloud providers.
Marco Meinardiresearch director, Gartner

That's also what Gartner recommends them to do. Multi-cloud is not a matter of if, it's definitely a matter of when. [Multi-cloud adoption] is very much a risk mitigation technique. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Use multiple clouds so that you will not be forced to stay and adhere to whatever policies those vendors have with respect to your organizations. It is also a way you can avoid vendor lock-in. Knowing how to operate in a multiple cloud environment is a way that you can leverage by saying, 'OK, my workload is no longer suited in one provider; I'm going to move it over because I already possess the expertise to do that.'

What are some of the pain points associated with multi-cloud adoption?

Meinardi: The biggest pain point is that, right now, there is no standardization between cloud providers. If you look at Amazon, Microsoft and Google, they just decided to build their own specifications. Yes, they do support and provide a similar set of services for accomplishing a similar set of use cases, but they've done it differently. Their implementation is dramatically different -- different APIs, tool sets, nomenclature and taxonomies.

When you have to manage all of that, it means that you must learn to operate different tool sets and that is a pain point, because you must double your efforts due to the lack of standardization.

Now, there are vendors in the market that can help you with this kind of multi-cloud management that provides a sort of consistency between providers. But a lot of effort will still need to be undertaken in order to accomplish that with success.

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What are some of the other pain points associated with multi-cloud management?
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