I had the pleasure last week of participating in a webcast with Microsoft’s Steve Ross to discuss the challenges and issues many companies face after IT operations have migrated from on-premises to a cloud-based infrastructure. I talk to clients on a regular basis who have been caught off guard by the complexities that are introduced with cloud and hybrid IT operations. After all, wasn’t ease of use one of the benefits of moving to the cloud in the first place?
Not to worry! Steve and I discussed some of the key components to consider after you’ve migrated to the cloud and with some solid investment in time and planning, you can not only get those complexities under control, but formulate a plan for success as your cloud-based operations continue to evolve and grow.
Sprawl. You probably thought you were leaving sprawl behind after moving away from on-premises, but cloud-driven sprawl happens when organizations lose visibility into their fast-growing virtual resources. Costs can quickly spiral out of control with the proliferation of workloads and cloud instances that are not adequately managed. In addition, as you add different cloud providers and services, the cost benefits of cloud-based operations will disappear if your IT teams become overwhelmed with the complexities of multi-cloud environments. The key is developing cloud computing management polices up front to ensure deployment standards across the organization and identify cloud management tools to help provide visibility and control across all execution venues.
Security. While companies are solely responsible for on-premises security, cloud computing introduces a whole new set of security threats and challenges. With so much data moving to the cloud, your virtual resources can easily become targets. And without a clear governance policy in place, security compliance and data control issues can get out of hand. You can get a grasp on your cloud security issues by developing a broad set of security policies to help protect your data and applications. Be sure to integrate those governance policies across the cloud infrastructure with your on-premises security so you can safeguard both your data and your cloud investment.
Operations. Just because you’ve moved to the cloud doesn’t mean that the management and delivery of services stops. In fact, your IT environment can become more complex unless you have a plan in place to address the integration of legacy operations with your new cloud-based infrastructure. The more emphasis you place up front on standardization, monitoring and control, the less painful the transition will be. And if you leverage the automation tools and scale that cloud opportunities present, you will have an efficient and effective infrastructure in place without sacrificing the agility you were looking for your cloud environments to provide.
Process. After cloud migrations, process can be one of the biggest challenges organizations face, as it requires not just IT policy changes, but a transformation with people. Investing your time to plan and develop solid IT management processes can lead to an optimized infrastructure in the long run. For example, companies with hybrid IT environments are typically managing multiple cloud vendor infrastructures. Without visibility into ongoing vendor management and clear policies to handle incident and change management in the cloud, the complexities of manual intervention and skillset gaps will quickly take over. If you establish process best practices up front and maintain consistent oversight aligning your IT services to business needs, you’ll have a smoother transition after your cloud migration.
Innovation. Adopting cloud-based technologies is no longer just for saving time and money, as cloud computing drives new digital experiences across organizations. Companies of all sizes are discovering that cloud is enabling business insights through technology such as AI, machine learning, and IoT, while accelerating new revenue streams. Embracing cloud means opening up to new possibilities. Transforming your IT approach from on-premises to a solid cloud-based strategy that optimizes organizational cloud adoption will set you up for success in driving strategic advantage for years to come.
As your business continues to evolve and grow, addressing these key considerations can help you identify the right mix of governance and control in your cloud-based infrastructure, maximizing the potential for new services and capabilities to drive competitive advantage. If you missed our webinar, you can listen to five mindset changes replay here and for more information on the CenturyLink and Microsoft collaboration visit www.CenturyLink.com/Microsoft.