5 things IT teams should know about managing their company in the cloud

How can cloud management help you make the most of your cloud services?

How can cloud management help you make the most of your cloud services, save money, and help you provide a better user experience?

Having a good cloud management strategy allows you to introduce self-service capabilities that can eliminate old-school IT resource provisioning. It gives IT the ability to access a private and public cloud, monitor utilisation, review cloud instances, monitor costs, and adjust resources as needed. With cloud management, IT can create workflow automation that takes business policies and turns them into actionable steps that can be used to manage cloud resources automatically.

Using cloud management, you can monitor ongoing cloud workloads and user experience to ensure performance metrics are kept within acceptable levels. Your business can use these metrics to decide when it is time to increase or decrease cloud allocation and the associated cost.

While most Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud providers offer some management tools, often times companies need a way to manage multiple cloud services and vendors at once. Third party SaaS providers allow businesses to manage multiple infrastructure as a service platforms from one screen.

The top factors to consider when investigating cloud management

Scaling: Cloud computing allows businesses to scale on demand. This enables businesses to alter their cloud usage depending upon seasonality of the business.

IT can provide a competitive advantage: Many IT departments have struggled to move from the perception of being a cost centre to a department that brings competitive advantage to the business. As part of the cloud transition, cloud management allows IT departments to move away from traditional server maintenance and upgrades to more high-value work that can help improve the company’s bottom line.

Staffing: Although cloud management tools can be a powerful part of cloud strategy, you also need to have competent IT staff on hand or help from the vendor. While IT administrators don’t have to handle provisioning hardware like they did in the traditional sense, they do need to have the expertise to take policies and turn them into workflows. IT must be able to monitor cloud metrics and then make decisions and update business rule sets that will in turn drive the automation of cloud. If a company doesn’t have a properly skilled IT staff they can typically work with software as a service vendors to provide these services for them.

Security: In a recent survey, 42 per cent of respondents said they saw security as being the biggest issue with cloud management. “This study shows that far-sighted CIOs have a clear view of the competitive, operational and economic benefits of cloud computing, and are taking energetic action to realise them for their organisations. At the same time, those decision-makers are clear-eyed about the need to secure both existing IT and new cloud resources in order to protect vital business assets,” said Steve Nunn, Vice President, Cloud and Infrastructure Services, Unisys.

Benefits of Cloud Management Software

Monitoring: Are you getting the most out of your cloud provisioning? Is your application running at optimal levels and providing great customer service? How will you know if you don’t constantly monitor your cloud service provider and applications? Each vendor provides monitoring for their own services, or you can select a third-party software as a service vendor that will monitor multiple systems at once.

Cost Management: Without proper monitoring and cost management, it’s easy for services to get out of control. You can end up paying for resources that you don’t use, and without proper monitoring, never even know it. Using cost management services, you can identify any unused instances and shut those down to right-size for your organisation.

Cloud management and automation: Cloud management software allows you to automatically spin up or shut down resources across multiple providers as needed to reduce cost.

Data governance: Governance services or cloud access security brokers allow you to control which users can access cloud-based resources.

Conclusion

As cloud management software vendors have matured, they have gone from providing a small niche service to expanding their functionality and including more features.

It’s always important to define your needs before searching for a cloud management software so you know the top factors you should consider before making a cloud management decision.

Kirill Bensonoff, Founder of Unigma

Image Credit: Chaiyapop Bhumiwat / Shutterstock