The cloud has become the standard computing option for many organisations, with research predicting more than two thirds of companies will have a multi-cloud set-up by 2019. Fuelled by mass cloud adoption, the cloud environment – though it offers flexibility and scalability to many – is growing harder to manage...
A blog article by Richard Best – General Manager, UK
IT departments are plagued by cloud outages, varied service levels from individual vendors, and poor performance of applications not built for cloud – they are now looking to better optimise their organisation’s cloud use.
Optimising cloud means reducing expenditure while improving cloud performance and maintaining a high level of IT security. This is not easy, especially as cloud computing adds new layers of complexity to enterprise IT.
For example, employees like to use preferred cloud services they can download and pay for in a matter of moments. This makes it hard for enterprises to keep an eye on consumption, but also has a bearing from a security and performance perspective. Using multiple cloud services means many organisations unwittingly relinquish control over their infrastructure. Businesses must balance equipping the workforce with data security, and ensuring costs do not spiral.
To minimise often hidden and unplanned cloud costs, CIOs need access to a comprehensive, real-time view of their entire cloud infrastructure. The CIO is then able to make more informed decisions on managing and optimising their cloud environment, once they have the full picture at hand.
With organisation-wide intelligence on cloud service usage, CIOs can economise by consolidating applications and ensuring cloud services are procured centrally – closing gaps in the procurement process that lead to unplanned spend.
Cloud consumption can easily spiral, resulting in an unplanned, large bill from a vendor. An important part of cloud optimisation is being able to proactively manage and predict consumption to reduce the chances of ‘bill shock’.
This is especially significant for CIOs operating on fixed budgets, because accurately forecasting expenses helps them justify cloud costs to the boardroom. When it comes to cloud services that charge based on what an organisation consumes, for example, Microsoft Azure, being able to predict what consumption, and therefore cost will be, is a huge advantage.
Management of cloud services shouldn’t stop at adoption. Cloud has delivered huge benefits to organisations, but left unchecked, it can be extremely hard for organisations to keep track of how and where applications are being used, and what the full costs are. To fully realise the value of cloud, CIOs must be diligent and implement structured, comprehensive management and reporting.
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