With increasing numbers of businesses migrating their infrastructure to the cloud, there’s a flurry of activity by cloud managed service providers. Having a cloud networking architecture provides unlimited opportunities for business enhancement, so it’s little wonder we’re witnessing a cloud explosion. With a pressing need to update legacy environments and unify communication, however, some firms jumping in feet-first and losing control over their cloud management infrastructure.
The growth of cloud chaos
The popularity of cloud networking shows little sign of deceleration. Forbes estimates that worldwide public cloud services will grow by almost 20% to total $141 billion by 2019, up from $70 billion in 2015.
A recent survey by ScienceLogic of more than 1,070 IT managers and professionals indicated that 42% have more than a quarter of their infrastructure in cloud environments today; up from 33% a year ago. Fewer than a third surveyed, however, have the correct visibility and control they need to keep their cloud infrastructure in check.
Complex multi-cloud strategies
In a bid to mitigate risk, enterprises are often adopting multi-cloud vendor strategies. While this can be appropriate for some highly regulated business models such as financial services, it can pose complications from a compliance perspective. An effective strategy needs to consider and implement guidelines and governance for each of its elements.
A further challenge is getting the mix of multiple private and public cloud environments right, and pulling the selected services into their existing IT systems and infrastructure. While increased flexibility and protection has its benefits, integration is crucial. Maintaining multiple providers to spread risk could be costly, whereas a single provider enhances efficiency and scalability.
Are your cloud costs optimised?
In a traditional, on-premise IT environment, spend is generally capital expenditure. Your budget is allocated to physical hardware that is housed and managed. The technology always depreciates and later needs updating.
In a managed cloud architecture, however, the operational costs of your IT are ongoing and fixed, regardless of usage. The Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) researched cloud cost optimisation and identified a need for cloud cost control, pointing towards inefficient use of cloud resources, unpredictable billing, contractual obligation or technological dependency.
The beauty of cloud services is scalability, automation and agility. Regular auditing of your service usage and business needs will make sure you’re only using what you need. Scale up when the load demands it, but ensure you scale down when it’s done, and automate everything to save manual resources.
Are you driving change?
The traditional methods of IT management, in fixed data-centre world, involved extensive buffering for costs and time, and over-provisioning of hardware to ensure there were no failures. To transform your networks and architecture to cloud, however, you need to throw away systemic IT practices and behaviours, or you’ll leave exposed data and systems running unattended with no business benefit.
The key to successfully managing your cloud infrastructure isn’t just about deploying the right technology, it’s about having the forward-thinking scope and vision to do things differently. If you do what you’ve always done, mindlessly devouring cloud services or simply adding them to bloated, unwieldy and complicated architecture, your output will be inefficient cloud usage and limited cloud capabilities.
If you seek to design new products and new processes, and solve business problems with the cloud, you’ll capitalise on an abundance of effective cloud-based resources.
With cloud managed service providers, like Cisco Meraki wireless, your cloud networking and architecture is 100% centralised and managed. The intuitive dashboard gives you superior visibility, so you’ll always have a clear overview of your consumption and application usage. With a single point of control on your cloud infrastructure, you can be sure your service is always optimised to your work demand.
Cloud-based technology enables enhancement in your workplace. Cloud management done correctly — with a future-proof culture, innovative tools and forward-thinking management — drives holistic and strategic change across all ends of your business.
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