With more and more enterprises seeing the benefits in, and establishing, long-term cloud computing strategies, the consumption of cloud services has begun trending towards the omnivorous.
According to the International Data Corporation, over 85% of enterprises are starting to adopt multi-cloud architectures that include a mix and match of public cloud services, community clouds, hosted clouds and private clouds.
Likewise, IDC research shows that 50% of enterprises are likely to subscribe to over 5 different public cloud services while adding, expanding and dropping subscriptions based on specific organisational needs. These figures highlight the fact that getting cloud management right from the start is ever more important.
A mistake that more and more organisations seem to be making is how they think of and treat services like the public cloud. Treating public cloud services like a Netflix subscription, where you use the service and pay the bill at the end of each month isn’t quite right. In fact, many businesses are finding that on-premise services were costing them less than what they’re spending now. Of course, public cloud providers won’t tell you there are significantly more efficient ways to use their services. Your public cloud services need to be managed in a similar fashion to how you would manage on-premise infrastructure. Learning to manage these cloud systems, in regard to cost, planning, capacity and security is paramount.
In order to take charge of this complex environment, enterprises should focus on the following 5 key areas.
Cost and optimisation
Managing cloud costs can be significantly challenging for many enterprises and CIOs, especially if they’re new to cloud adoption.
In most cases, enterprises and CIOs are accustomed to buying and setting up equipment as and when it’s needed—but it’s not that simple with cloud services.
For example, developers running application tests might forget to turn off their VMs before leaving work on Friday afternoon and accidentally leave them running all weekend. As a result, an enterprise ends up burning through their entire month’s allocation for particular cloud services.
That’s why it’s vitally important that enterprises consistently track their cloud service consumption while aligning with their budgets. The importance of cloud service budgeting lead Microsoft to the acquisition of an organisation that helps enterprises track consumption while forecasting future spending.
Clearly identifying how much of a service is needed and when it is needed is significantly important in achieving operational efficiency.
Key security functionalities to consider for your cloud computing environment include, but are not limited to:
- Risk management
- Appropriate segmentation of duties
- Single sign-on
- Key management
It’s also important to conduct a review of your current security systems and consult with a specialist for the implementation of appropriate, up-to-date and robust security systems tailored to your specific needs.
It’s important to create policies that establish which staff or departments require access to what applications and services, how and when they can gain access to them and for how long.
Orchestration and provisioning
Automation, orchestration and provisioning are vital for managing complex cloud environments. Blueprinting the connections and inter-dependencies involved in cloud and on-premise systems is vital.