Senior Vice President of Digital Transformation for BMC Software.
Many of these organizations are struggling, and the reason they’re struggling is because multi-cloud is not a strategy. In many cases, it’s something that just happened, and it caught many organizations off guard.
The multi-cloud world we now live in is a result of shadow IT and bimodal IT gone wild.
The proliferation of cloud environments has moved very quickly, in some cases without the realization of the extent to which it was happening. That’s how we get IT chaos.
So the challenge has now become: How do we manage the things that have been (and always will be) important — like risk management, compliance, governance and cost control — and bring order to something that is often out of control in many organizations?
How We Got Here
The digital transformation imperative has enabled — and required — enterprises and business leaders to operate at hyper-speed and hyper-scale. It presents both tremendous opportunities and new management challenges.
To meet these new demands, developers, IT operations teams and line-of-business leaders are increasingly turning to the cloud for the agility, scale and elasticity needed to meet the rapidly changing needs of customers and employees. To that point, Bain & Company revealed that the global cloud IT market is increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 17%, reaching approximately $390 billion in 2020.
As organizations move to realize the benefits of hybrid multi-cloud environments, IT must contend with new realities and pressures:
Risk: Multiple cloud platforms means a broader attack surface with new vulnerabilities, requiring new tools to maintain effective security, governance and compliance in hybrid environments.
Complexity: IT has traditionally focused on managing dynamic resources in its own data center. Now it must keep a keen eye on any combination of cloud platforms with different processes and capabilities.
Speed: Complexity can slow down migration to the cloud, but in multi-cloud environments, slow translates to broken. Enterprise users want immediate availability and unlimited scalability from cloud-based services and will circumvent IT to source public clouds themselves if their needs are not met.
Cost: Businesses migrate to the cloud with expectations of realizing significant cost savings, but they are often met with varying degrees of bill shock. Unrestrained service acquisition of public cloud solutions can result in costs spiraling out of control while underutilized or unused resources remain active.
The practices and processes that IT has traditionally relied upon are too slow and rigid for the digital era. Businesses must re-examine and expand traditional rules, policies and tools to bridge existing IT platforms with multiple public clouds.
Failure to do so means businesses risk disruption not just to systems but to the entire value chain.
Embrace Hybrid Multi-Cloud Management
To address the operational challenges of this hybrid multi-cloud reality, organizations need the ability to visualize resources and manage performance across environments. Only then can IT embrace multi-cloud and enable the organization’s infrastructure to be used as a competitive advantage rather than a liability.
Developing a winning cloud strategy means worrying just as much about data security, cost increases, governance and compliance as it does speed and scale. This puts IT in the lead as a value creator for a business, powering speed and agility by enabling the management and removal of complexity.
Being successful requires automated application lifecycle management, hybrid cloud operations tools and service-brokering capabilities so that IT operations teams can manage risk, streamline access to new services, and improve visibility across providers and delivery models.
Below are seven best practices you can implement now to effectively manage hybrid multi-cloud environments:
- Proactively monitor cloud and infrastructure applications: Leverage machine learning analytics to quickly and proactively detect and diagnose potential issues.
- Dynamically optimize multi-cloud capacity: Align IT resources with business demand and identify infrastructure needs to improve application performance and reduce costs when migrating to the cloud.
- Effectively manage the cost of multiple cloud suppliers: Gain insights into both on-premise and public cloud costs to enable informed decisions between capital or operational expenses and reduce bill shock.
- Accelerate access to multi-cloud resources: Enable policy-based access to multi-cloud resources via a consumer-like self-service catalog that improves governance and automates provisioning and management.
- Increase visibility of infrastructure in the cloud: Discover multi-cloud infrastructure and services you may not be aware of in order to understand the complexity and dependencies of applications.
- Prioritize digital business automation: Reduce complexities around the move to the cloud to achieve the desired performance, scalability and cost savings. Automation can make this much less painful.
- Increase regulatory compliance automation: Identify regulatory compliance issues and then prioritize, plan and accelerate automated remediation to simplify and reduce the cost of compliance.
The cloud has become the mainstay for speed and flexibility, and now that public and private clouds are a fixture alongside on-premise infrastructure, they must be managed with a new mindset for digital business. We must create a modern, elastic and agile environment to enable a digital future.
Henry Adams, a historian who lived through quite turbulent times himself, once said, “Chaos was the law of nature; order was the dream of man.” The growth of the cloud may have been born from necessity and created chaos, but now is the time to bring order to these new enterprise environments with multi-cloud management. When we drive digital transformation and embrace multi-cloud environments, we can start living the dream.