Yes, 2016 is the year of the multi-cloud strategy. Whether blended, hybrid, shaken or stirred, multi-could technology will power many of our popular brands, services, applications and platform.

But as CIO contributor Stephanie Overby points out, defining this strategy differs based on the respective company, business objectives, size of data workloads and any security or compliance requirements. In Overby’s story, “How to manage a multi-vendor cloud environment,” HotLink CEO Lynn LeBlanc explains why multi-cloud approaches will take on more heavy lifting in 2016.

“In the next 12 months, IT teams will continue to move more of their workloads into the cloud, and a single cloud option may not make sense for every application,” says LeBlanc. “In fact, the more workloads in the cloud, the higher the likelihood of a multi-vendor cloud environment.”

Overby and LeBlanc explore many issues, including catalysts for the deployment shift, perceived risks, juxtaposition with legacy infrastructure, skills required and more. Of note, they opined on the top risk in managing multi-cloud environments: too much complexity.

“Overlaying numerous software tools and automation on multiple native management toolsets is a very complex and costly proposition,” LeBlanc tells CIO. “Hybrid cloud environments need unified administration and management; it’s the most critical factor in retaining the cost and agility advantages of blended cloud and on-premise resources.

One of the key topics that wasn’t overtly discussed was security. Adding the numerous security controls and processes to the mix has a direct influence on the multi-cloud strategy that will be best for a given organization.

“This exploration provides a decent operational- and ROI-based viewpoint. However, the complexity of operations in heterogeneous environments is nothing compared to the security complexity in the same environments,” says Armor vice president Paul French. “The components that make it easier to manage, portable and highly configurable, are often in direct conflict to the things that make an environment secure.”

To gather additional insight into multi-cloud strategies, read the complete CIO discussion.