5 Things You Need to Give Your Cloud an Extra Jolt

Is your organization implementing the cloud? Are you spending more money than you should be?

The Cloud First Policy, released by the White House in 2011, intended to accelerate the pace at which the Federal Government realizes the value of cloud computing. Federal agencies are now scrambling to meet the mandates that came along with this policy by rolling out a rushed cloud computing model that has an array of flaws and costs the organization more than it should.

Below are five objectives you should be checking off to ensure your organization’s cost-efficient cloud strategy is electric.

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1. Cloud management platforms

One of the biggest reasons for an organization to move to a public cloud environment is the desire to save on IT spending.

The cloud offers a flexible and elastic architecture that allows instant low cost and on-demand deployment of services. Organizations can deploy resources with little effort and scale to enormous proportions with just a few clicks inside a cloud portal.

Customers have indicated that native CSP tools are fine for startup cloud environments with limited instances. However, as usage scales, cloud administrators are quickly overwhelmed by the complexity of native tools.

Organizations are facing significant cost increases because of improperly implemented cloud instantiations. Terms like “ten thousand dollar unknown instances”, “million dollar weekends” and “cloud cost leakage” are arising as organizations withstand this challenge.

Visibility is key as many organizations find themselves with excess services and underutilized instances. Cloud Management Platforms (CMP) mitigate this risk by providing a complete asset inventory of what has been deployed along with the associated costs. This visibility enables simplified, automated initiation and enforcement of policies such as shutting down instances after business hours, determining underutilized resources and right-sizing them, and triggering alerts against services that are on track to overrun a set budget. Stack templates can be created and provided via role-based access controls, allowing users to quickly and efficiently deploy pre-configured templates of cloud resources.

2. PaaS/SaaS

The cloud is much more than infrastructure. Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service provides the end user an experience that maximizes cloud investments. No code, FedRamp Ready platform and independent solutions provide fast, low-cost results for rapid cloud adoption. Lightweight business solutions such as program, portfolio, grants, procurement and financial management can be implemented in weeks as opposed to years for thousands as opposed to millions of dollars.

Many organizations are adopting Software as a Service in their daily business operations and are growing increasingly more familiar with Platform as a Service. Each offers a way to drive cloud adoption, maximize efficiency and reduce the risk associated with complex monolithic solutions.

3. Business continuity

Like any other type of infrastructure, cloud implementations require business continuity solutions. Making the assumption that disaster recovery is included within the fabric of your cloud service providers (CSP) can open your organization to significant risk. Customer feedback indicates that many of the CSP provided tools are difficult to use and may not provide effective coverage especially in multi cloud environments.

To maximize protection and minimize risk, third party business continuity solutions are a must.

4. Security

What good is storing your data in the cloud if it is not secure? Approximately one out of every five documents uploaded to the cloud contains sensitive information and although the cloud is innovative, it still comes with a risk.

FedRamp certification does not necessarily mean a secure cloud implementation. As individual cloud instances are initiated, the risk of misconfiguration is significant. This risk increases in decentralized, ala carte Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud environments. Templates help with initial configuration, however, complexity increases as services are implemented, overwhelming manual configuration management.

Additionally, just like any infrastructure, cloud services need to be continuously monitored to ensure compliance with security policy. Consequently, security, governance and compliance tools are key elements of cloud risk mitigation.

5. Professional services

Facilitating cloud adoption and transformation does not have to be a long and grueling process.

Employing a team of experts to design a cloud roadmap and integrate your cloud services based on your specific business needs will take the headache out of the equation.

These teams are trained to provide technical solutions and advice to help accelerate the adoption, optimization and ongoing maintenance of the platform. These cloud specialists will regularly collaborate with you to boost your understanding of your cloud environment in order to more efficiently utilize cloud services in a flexible manner for your overall digital transformation.

Professional services take the sting out of things like automating your cloud infrastructure and migrating your existing applications into the cloud. They also speed up the product development cycle, which in turn improves the quality of operations and reduces costs.

In conclusion

Although the cloud is far from a new concept, most agencies have only scratched the surface when it comes to its cost saving capabilities. Simply taking your data center and moving it to the cloud is by no means cost-efficient, in fact, it would likely cost more than your original model.

Make sure your company is a pioneer for this digital infrastructure by refining your cloud in the five areas above.

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