It’s no longer a matter of whether enterprises are going to leverage the cloud or not. In fact, more than half of global enterprises are expected to rely on at least one public cloud platform for digital transformation by the end of 2018. Cloud is the future and it’s already evolving.

At first, we started seeing businesses taking a hybrid approach, adopting both public and private cloud computing. However, as their strategies continue to mature, we’re seeing businesses refine their cloud strategies to capture some parts of what they need from one cloud provider and other parts of it from another, while also keeping more sensitive data on premise, of course. This customized deployment approach is otherwise known as a multicloud strategy.

With a multicloud approach, businesses are finding that they can achieve the flexibility they need while navigating their increasingly complex digital transformations. Those that adapt to a multicloud strategy will find success, and those that don’t will get left behind. In order to keep up, it’s important to understand the key flexibility advantages in which a multicloud strategy can benefit your business.

Avoid vendor lock in

One of the greatest benefits of leveraging a multicloud strategy is to avoid vendor lock-in. Businesses don’t want to be tied to the specific protocols, standards and tools of their one chosen cloud, as it can become inhibiting. Additionally, it can be very costly for enterprises to move out of an arrangement they’re locked into with a single cloud provider, particularly when they’re already using their APIs for their proprietary services. So, as organizations are determining where to run their workloads, a multicloud approach promises the flexibility of not putting all of your eggs in one basket.

A good example of a company that avoided this mistake is Snap Inc. The makers of Snapchat revealed that it would plan to restructure over the next five years. At the time their infrastructure was directly tied to Google Cloud Platform, but the company quickly realized that it wouldn’t be able to make the business transitions it wanted without excess cost and allocation penalties. To combat this lock-in, Snap Inc. updated its IPO registration statement to include that it would also invest in Amazon Web Services (AWS) to better diversify its portfolio.

Businesses, like Snap Inc., need to ensure they have the flexibility to negotiate with cloud providers to keep their edge and scale their businesses more efficiently.

Optimize Your Workload

Another great advantage of multicloud is having the flexibility to move workloads and applications across cloud platforms to ensure optimized performance – and furthermore, to procure different benefits from different clouds. By identifying the specific cloud platform on which a business’s various workloads and applications each perform best, and deploying the right app on the right cloud, organizations can achieve higher efficiency, better compliance, cost savings and can deliver greater quality of service.

Moreover, leveraging multiple clouds for different workloads enables businesses to improve reliability too. Not only do businesses gain greater risk management by diversifying their workloads and reducing exposure to an outage or data breach, but also enables them to have a secondary cloud in case their primary cloud experiences any downtime, which can act as a fail-safe solution to keep an organization’s workloads running.

Breaking Down Silos

Most enterprises that first saw the benefits of using multiple clouds were probably taking a siloed approach. One workload on one cloud platform, and another on a different one – but they were entirely unconnected. While this strategy has its benefits, having the flexibility to move workloads and applications across cloud platforms so businesses can capitalize on the best technologies as and when they need them, is really where businesses will start to see true value of a multicloud approach.

While this seamless movement and flexibility does come with its challenges of portability, compatibility and complexity, businesses that leverage a cloud strategy that ties together an enterprise’s multiple cloud deployments will reap these impactful benefits of multicloud now and in the future, helping them meet their growing business needs.

How to Get There

The key to deploying a successful and flexible multicloud strategy is to have the right connectivity to the various clouds. Carrier- and cloud-neutral colocation environments can empower and simplify a multicloud strategy by giving business a better choice for connecting to the cloud.

With colocation data centers that offer direct interconnections to multiple cloud service providers within the same facility, businesses gain the benefit of low latency connectivity – which ultimately translates to better service for customers, even as businesses grow.