When confronted with cloud management challenges, many organizations operate on a reactive basis—developing ad hoc solutions to specific problems as they arise. And because of this, many IT cloud management programs are rife with duplicate capabilities, non-standard approaches, process inefficiencies, and the creation of a shadow IT organization. Companies are becoming exposed to unnecessary risks and costs and missing out on opportunities to add business value.
Cloud management is a process just as critical as more traditional business operations. But few organizations have the time or expertise to build a cloud management program that meets today’s needs—and will be ready for whatever the future holds.
That’s where working with a knowledgeable partner and using a Cloud Management Platform (CMP) can make all the difference. They can help you quickly reach a new level of self-service IT capability without a major up-front investment of skills or vendor lock-in.
Here are the top ten signs that show you’re ready to start investing in a Cloud Management Platform to get your IT strategy and program back on track.
- Deploying a new workload takes days or weeks from when it was first requested
The goal of deploying new workloads should be minutes or at most hours. We live a world where business agility is a key competitive differentiator, and IT must enable the business to compete
- Once a workload is provisioned, it lives forever and creates sprawl
With the outdated “ownership” model, the same workload is used, reused and repurposed for months or years—just like “server huggers” before the advent of virtualization. The “rental” model provides just-in-time provisioning based on standardized workloads.
- Your IT team performs the same tasks over and over again
“Provision me a Web server”, “reboot this machine for me”, “add a disk to this workload”—these are all tasks that can easily be automated with a CMP, freeing up your IT staff for solving hard problems and architecting for the future. In most IT shops, the number of workloads under management is ever-increasing, but the number of staff isn’t. Automating repetitive tasks is the only way for IT to have time for the hard stuff.
- A lack of standardization causes inconsistent configurations and support issues
Without standardized builds, IT must troubleshoot problems caused by configuration drift. Standardized service catalog offerings and automated provisioning can ensure consistency.
- You can’t get control of public cloud shadow IT
First, you need a single pane of glass to manage both your private and public infrastructure. Then you need to determine the root cause of shadow IT. Often, it’s because there’s no private cloud available that can deliver IaaS as fast as AWS or Azure, which leads us right back to the first item in our list—it takes too long to deploy a new workload.
- Your IT service consumers tell you that public cloud IaaS is cheaper than on-premises IaaS
Are you showing your consumers the cost of on-premises private cloud? Many organizations are not ready for chargeback, but show back can help dispel the myth that the public cloud is always cheaper. In some cases, the public cloud will be cheaper, and in other cases, it will be your private cloud. At a minimum, you need to present the data to have the conversation.
- You know you have sprawl, you just don’t ow how to control it
Moving to the rental model, with just-in-time provisioning of standard workloads, will help reduce sprawl. Cost visibility also helps by preventing over-provisioning. Even without chargeback, your end-users’ behavior will change when they see that 8 CPUs cost more than 2. A CMP with integrated workload rightsizing recommendations helps even more, providing information to your IT consumers while at the same time letting them make the ultimate resource decisions for their application workloads.
- You know that hybrid cloud is the future
Most organizations have significant investments in their infrastructure. At the same time, companies are using public clouds like AWS and Azure to develop next-gen apps and to avoid purchasing more on-premises data center hardware. A CMP provides a single pane of glass and automated ITaaS across all of these environments.
- Forecasting resource consumption is difficult, if not impossible, and IT ends up acting as a referee for dev team hardware consumption
Workloads that live forever and resources that are over-provisioned make it extremely difficult to budget and plan purchases. It’s easier for dev teams to clamor for more than to optimize what they currently use. An efficient CMP implementation provides predictability while optimizing the use of all current and future resources. Agreed-upon “virtual data center” resource sandboxes for your dev teams prompt them to police their consumption, freeing up IT to do more important things and significantly mitigating sprawl.
- Your CIO or IT leadership has mandated a move to ITaaS
Moving to a self-service model means organizational transformation. Priorities and processes must change. There needs to be a leader who has the vision and sees the inherent business value, and who is willing to push the IT organization to undertake these changes so that IT becomes an enabler to the business.