By this stage you are probably tired of hearing about the new normal when it comes to remote working. Don’t worry, we’re feeling much the same, but remote working is driving a myriad changes for businesses, and SMEs in particular. One such element is cloud computing, with a multi-cloud approach viewed by many as the right approach in the remote working era.

It is a view that Greg McDonald (pictured above), director of systems engineering at Dell Technologies South Africa, holds.

This as cloud strategies are in the spotlight and in the current global environment, small businesses will need to tighten up how they approach environments with multiple clouds, and quickly, according to McDonald.

“Today, organisations are in many stages of their cloud journey, and nearly all are working with multiple clouds – be it private and/or public clouds. A multi cloud approach allows businesses to benefit from the unique capabilities that different clouds offer,” he explains.

Citing a recent IDC report, McDonald notes that 93 percent of organisations are deploying their workloads on two or more cloud platforms. This is turn, can often lead to a greater amount of complexity for said organisations, he adds.

In order to achieve a best of breed scenario, McDonald is finding that organisations across the board are looking to the multi-cloud approach.

As Dell Technologies’ new research demonstrates, ‘The Cloud Complexity Imperative, most European businesses are using at least three public cloud providers – and that number is expected to increase to two thirds within 36 months,” he points out. 

As the director correctly highlights, SMEs are under more pressure when it comes to selecting the right approach to a multi-cloud strategy, and do not have the luxury that some of their medium and larger enterprises do.

“While it’s fair to say that the mid-market largely experiences the same challenges as larger enterprises – the intensity with which they are felt differs. With smaller businesses the finances will likely be more limited and often flow from the owner’s pocket. This puts more pressure on investments, making performance and return on investment even more critical,” says McDonald.

He believes that SMEs can effectively negotiate said pressure by taking three specific considerations onboard:

“1. Firstly, by keeping private cloud compatible with a modernised on-prem infrastructure.

2. Then, ensuring that transformational skill sets  –  from soft skills like critical thinking, creativity and flexibility, to hard skills like programming, digital design and data science – are nurtured. This will enable the workforce to adapt to new and innovative technologies like AI and ML development.

3. Finally, leaning on the experts who specialise in creating this consistency – collaborating with third parties to help super-charge those multi-cloud strategies.”

With remote working here to stay, and SMEs crucial in driving the economy post COVID-19 and lockdown, it’s clear that a well defined and executed multi-cloud strategy will prove pivotal.

“For many businesses there is work to be done, every journey towards a cloud-first approach is unique, but in times of uncertainty simplifying cloud complexities will boost efficiencies and provide a reassuring foundation for a mobile-working environment, which is now an essential part of business,” McDonald concludes.