As cloud computing matures, organizations are capitalizing on the indispensable flexibility, cost-saving, and security benefits of cloud services to innovate their processes and optimize their IT environment.
In fact, the ability to rapidly adopt public cloud software has enabled greater productivity for organizations and their departments alike – as teams seeking new solutions can easily adopt cloud-based services, move workloads to the cloud, and scale resources as they see fit. However, a fast-growing and flexible cloud environment can also carry hidden disadvantages.
The Challenges of Public Cloud Management
For many businesses, the widespread use of public cloud throughout their organization has led to unmanaged infrastructure, minimal visibility, and reduced control of their cloud environment.
The increasing complexity of internal cloud solutions, and the subsequent effects this has on organizations over time, has likely contributed to this. Companies can become saddled with extraneous or wasteful cloud infrastructure if their environment continues to expand unchecked, and lack of internal cloud expertise can leave them in the dark about unoptimized processes.
What’s more, when businesses seek external management directly from their cloud service provider, the outcome may only have the providers interests at heart, rather than a robust optimization strategy. For these reasons, it’s easy to see why industry experts estimate that in 2019, 35% of cloud infrastructure will be wasted by enterprise organizations due to poor cloud management.
To tackle this, businesses should consider revising their cloud management strategy to regain control of their expansive cloud environment. In-depth cloud management can identify and reduce areas of inefficiency and enable you to recapture full visibility of the cloud – making it an optimization opportunity not to be missed.
The Necessity of In-depth Cloud Management
Your cloud environment isn’t a simple network that neatly extends across your business. In reality, it’s a complex web of infrastructure that weaves into all your departments and workloads.
Therefore, enterprise organizations require more than surface-level cloud management to target wasteful resources and maintain visibility over their public cloud, however, many do not have the internal resources to perform meaningful cloud management, leaving them at a significant loss.
Modern cloud computing requires greater levels of security and compliance, yet, the current cloud security skills gap reduces a business’s ability to target the risk of security threats, and one in four organizations have experienced cyber security threats that compromised their data due to the security talent gap.
Moreover, 85% of IT decision makers acknowledge that enterprise businesses require deeper cloud expertise within their organization – but many don’t have the internal expertise or sufficient management strategies to achieve this – despite the fact cloud environments should be routinely monitored for cost optimization and financial management opportunities.
With this in mind, what are some of the warning signs that your business’s cloud management may be missing the mark, and how can these crucial issues be addressed with a meaningful cloud management strategy?
The 3 Signs Your Cloud Management Needs Improvement
1. Poor Cloud Security Management
Every business strives to remain secure and compliant, however, an alarming number of organizations aren’t aware of the vulnerabilities of their public cloud infrastructure. For example, a recent McAfee report found that 28% of cloud workloads and accounts are regularly created outside of IT visibility in enterprise organizations, contributing to lack of control over who can access sensitive data. This highlights the prevalence of unmonitored public cloud workloads, which could be only the tip of the cloud security iceberg.
Lack of internal knowledge of cloud security and poor visibility of your entire cloud estate is major warning sign of poor cloud management. Put simply, your public cloud infrastructure is only secure as the polices that safeguard it, so if you’re unable to view the state of your cloud security from one, centralized system – from your workloads to your cloud services platforms – your business may be at risk. A single data breach or legal concern can have costly consequences, so poor visibility of security is a major cause for concern.
2. Unclear Financial Management
When your teams and departments are rapidly adopting new public cloud solutions with countless productivity benefits, it's easy to overlook the urgency to manage financial control. Businesses can lose track of important cloud management measures, such as the size of their cloud estate, who's paying for what software, and how much is being used.
This list can get more extensive as public cloud applications readily intertwine their roots into your workloads and daily processes, so it's critical to target poor financial management. Your business should be able to gather detailed billing and usage data from your entire cloud infrastructure in near real-time, and accurately track expenses back to their owners while detecting and minimizing overspend. Unclear or misguided financial management can leave you spending more than you need on your cloud infrastructure, leaving your organisation at a significant loss.
3. Unmeasured Cloud Waste
Enterprise organizations are predicted to spend over $14 billion on wasteful public cloud software in 2019, hailing unmeasured cloud waste as a major concern for cloud management. Businesses that don't routinely measure their cloud usage can't pinpoint the areas or aspects of their cloud environment are going to waste, and can easily miss out on crucial cloud resource optimization opportunities.
It's unlikely that every public cloud software or workload you've implemented is running at maxed-out capacity, and rather, many businesses often have many cloud workloads that go unused or are paying for more capacity than they need. Businesses need to review past-usage data and determine appropriate cloud resources to discard or minimize capacity, to reduce costs. If you're not constantly monitoring your cloud capacity, then it's likely you could be wasting finances on unnecessary and unmeasured cloud infrastructure.
How Can Independent Cloud Management Services (CMS) Help?
The real power of independent CMS is the level of knowledge it provides to businesses that may be lacking internal skills to effectively manage their cloud. Independent cloud experts can determine urgent or extraneous issues in your cloud environment, work on your behalf to scrutinize alerts, proactively supply the tools to instantly identify security risks, and implement self-healing automation procedures to fix vulnerabilities upon detection – regardless of where your cloud is located.
When independent CMS do all the heavy lifting on your behalf, it removes the burden of managing your cloud internally. This saves trawling through your extensive cloud environment, such as your single vendor or multi-cloud dependencies.
Additionally, thorough cloud management services will also regularly report and monitor the safety and security of your workloads, ensuring complete compliance across your entire estate. Monitoring and reporting can identify extraneous cloud capacity or unnecessary workloads, and can optimize your cloud infrastructure to deliver significant savings.
What's more, with the help of an independent cloud managed service provider, you can identify and initiate best practice procedures to effectively manage your cloud environment – significantly improving visibility over your cloud estate. If you're interested in learning more, find out how you can maximise your cloud benefits with management of your cloud costs and security with our guide to public cloud cost management, here.