It's Time to Make Cloud Management a Real IT Practice
by Joe Michalowski on

Cloud challenges are escalating for IT leaders. First, you just wanted visibility into the different cloud services your employees were signing up for so you weren’t blindsided by shadow IT. Now, suddenly you’re being inundated with cloud management demands.

But the idea of cloud management seems fairly simple. If you’re monitoring the availability of SaaS applications and public cloud instances throughout your organization, you’re a cloud manager—right? Not exactly.

As cloud computing spreads into hybrid and multi-cloud deployments across your company, you’ll find that cloud management is much more than keeping the lights on.

It’s time to make cloud management a real IT practice. Here’s what that entails.

Three Components of a Cloud Management Strategy

Implementing a serious cloud management strategy means taking complete administrative control over your public, private and hybrid clouds. But how does “complete administrative control” differ from what currently exists for most IT leaders?

There are three main goals that every cloud management strategy should include:

  • Use self-service instead of traditional IT resource provisioning: Users in your organization should be able to access resources in your public and private clouds. They should be empowered to keep track of utilization and create new instances as necessary. Don’t add friction within your business by acting as the IT provisioning gatekeeper. Instead, start offering detailed reporting for cloud budgets and let business leaders optimize OpEx.
  • Automate workflows where possible: These self-service capabilities should also transition into workflow automation when it’s appropriate. Rather than requiring human interaction for every adjustment, there should be specific rules in place for automatic instance creation and management. Automation also takes some of SLA headaches out of your hands by alerting on deviations from compliance or security policies throughout the business.
  • Maximize the end-user experience of cloud applications: Are your private clouds balancing workloads and planning for capacity properly? Are public cloud instances operating within your expectations for latency and downtime? Even if the operation lies in the hands of a cloud vendor, you have to be capable of ongoing analysis of cloud applications to ensure end users aren’t experiencing frustrating issues. In cloud management, metrics matter.

If these three goals aren’t enough, Gartner expands on the list of cloud management demands in its expectations for what platform solutions should include—metering and billing capabilities, workload optimization through established policies, service governance, and integration with external enterprise management.

If you want to succeed in cloud management, you can’t just rely on a tool (though the right solution will certainly help)—you need to become a cloud expert.

Cloud Management Is a New Skill for IT Admins to Master

IT administrators haven’t traditionally handled cloud provisioning—but that doesn’t mean you can just ignore it altogether. If IT can learn the skills necessary for cloud management, it will be much easier to achieve these goals throughout the organization.

For cloud management to be a real business practice, IT must become the go-to authority for infrastructure decisions and monitoring needs. That means being seen as an in-house expert, an internal cloud broker.

If you want to learn more about becoming a cloud broker and implementing cloud computing management practices in your business, watch our free on-demand webinar, How to Become a Cloud Broker.

Filed Under: cloud computing

Tags: cloud applications , cloud management , end user experience