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Consider These Solutions and Services to Improve Your Cloud Management

Don't let complexity and management challenges diminish the benefits of your cloud investments.
February 11, 2020

As more organizations pursue hybrid and multicloud architectures, they are finding that their use of cloud resources is increasingly complex and difficult to manage. 

Developing an effective strategy to streamline cloud management is necessary, but an organization still has steps left to take to effectively manage its resources. Without tools and services that assist with the implementation of this strategy, organizations will be left scrambling to tend to each component of their cloud environment and will never be able to achieve the efficiency and simplicity they seek. 

Solutions

Cloud management platforms: Likely the single most important tool to help organizations manage cloud complexity, a cloud management platform helps to automate routine tasks — and promote central visibility into and control over a cloud environment. These platforms are offered by a number of vendors and typically include reporting and cost management features, in addition to automation. They also support management for multicloud environments. 

Through a consolidated central dashboard, organizations are able to achieve visibility into their entire environment in a single view. When implemented appropriately, the benefits of a cloud management platform can include significant cost savings, increased adoption of cloud resources across the enterprise and future proofing to enable ongoing growth and evolution of cloud environments. Paired with an effective cloud management strategy, a cloud management platform can be a truly game-changing solution for organizations with substantial resources in the public cloud.

Application performance monitoring: The ability to monitor application performance is critical to cloud management, as it allows organizations to determine whether they are meeting the business goals of their cloud strategies and providing adequate levels of service to end users. Application performance monitoring tools will help IT administrators gain a holistic view into both cloud and on-premises applications, map interdependencies between applications and other resources, seamlessly track the health of applications and troubleshoot. This enables IT admins to drill down to root causes of issues and analyze performance metrics. 

Backup and recovery: Many organizations have found that the public cloud helps to simplify their backup and recovery functions. In a cloud backup model, an organization’s data and applications are backed up and stored on a remote server, kept readily available in case they are needed due to an outage or disaster. According to one recent survey, 62 percent of enterprises use the public cloud for file backup and disaster recovery, making it one of the most popular public cloud use cases. The benefits of using the public cloud for backup and recovery include the safeguarding of data and apps, flexible storage and rapid and reliable recovery. 

Identity and access management (IAM): Cloud IAM tools enable organizations to create and manage permissions for public cloud resources, helping to boost cloud security and simplify access for users who need it. Cloud-hosted IAM solutions are sometimes called Identity as a Service, or IDaaS. By providing simpler and faster access to IT resources, IDaaS can help businesses to adopt new technologies more quickly, speeding up their time to value. Like other cloud solutions, IDaaS tools are flexible and scalable, allowing enterprises to organically grow their investments over time, with little in the way of upfront investments.

Cloud access security broker (CASB): A CASB is a software tool that sits between an organization’s environment and public cloud providers to enforce security, compliance and governance policies for cloud applications. These tools help to provide visibility into shadow IT, address cyberthreats and data leaks, and enable management of privileged accounts. They also help IT administrators to exert control over external file sharing. 

62%

The percentage of cloud professionals and senior executives who say that the best time to address cloud complexity is before migration

Source: Deloitte, Cloud Complexity Management Survey, (PDF) May 2019

Services

Managed services: In a managed services model, a trusted third-party partner handles the day-to-day management of cloud-based services and technical support. This is, perhaps, the simplest of all cloud management solutions, as managed services allow an organization to rely on the service provider for the vast majority of cloud-related tasks, while internal staffers and leadership can keep their focus on the business. Managed services can help organizations to tackle cloud management without adding full-time IT staffers, which may help to lower overall costs. The model also lends itself to more predictable costs, as cloud management becomes a recurring, budget-friendly expense. Managed services are a particularly attractive option for organizations that have trouble attracting cloud-knowledgeable IT staffers due to their size or location. Quick response times are another key feature of managed services. When dealing with a reputable managed service provider, organizations can expect speedy responses through enterprise-level monitoring and remote cloud services. While many issues can be resolved remotely, organizations can typically have a technician onsite within one business day if necessary. 

Consulting services: Some organizations have an IT staff that can handle the bulk of cloud management tasks but may need occasional help incorporating new resources, redesigning cloud environments or handling specific challenges. For these organizations, cloud consulting services may be a fit. This model gives organizations the flexibility to rely on a partner only when needed, while handling day-to-day management on their own. By leveraging cloud consulting services, organizations can ensure that they always have the expertise they need. Also, they will benefit from the enhanced collaboration that comes with having fresh eyes evaluate their cloud management strategies and solutions. Even when internal IT leaders and staffers have deep cloud expertise, outside consultants may see opportunities that would otherwise be missed. 

Health checks: In a health check engagement, a third party ensures that the cloud customer is leveraging best practices to optimize cloud maturity. While a health check is less intensive than ongoing cloud consulting services or full managed services, it does provide an opportunity for organizations to spot hidden inefficiencies and sources of complexity. By catching wasteful spending, cumbersome architectures and security vulnerabilities, a health check can help an organization to save money and optimize performance, ensuring that it is achieving all of the benefits that the public cloud has to offer.

To learn more about how you can better manage your organization’s cloud consumption, read the CDW white paper “Managing Cloud Consumption for Optimal Results.”

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