Blog · 07 Nov 2018

Five tips on how to master multi-cloud management

How to put in place the effective management you need to realise the benefits of the cloud.

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Director, cloud alliances

Cloud management is the unsung hero of unlocking the rewards of the cloud.

It’s often overlooked, and yet it’s absolutely key to making sure that your cloud-based resources are optimised and integrated across your estate. Without the right management, it’s unlikely you’ll see the speed, elasticity, innovation, availability and cost savings you’re looking for in the cloud. So what does effective cloud management look like? 

1. Realise it’s a step change from traditional IT management

Operating in a multi-cloud age demands a new approach to IT management. Unlike traditional IT, cloud is about managing the delivery of a service, not an asset. The designs, processes, governance and skills that suit the static environment of traditional IT need to be completely reimagined to make the most of the cloud. When you consider that one cloud service provider, Amazon Web Services, has announced over 1,500 new features this year alone, you can see why organisations need to change their approach.  

Trying to transfer traditional IT management approaches across to the cloud can lead to costly mistakes. If you provision your cloud to cope with your peak demand, for example, you’ll end up with an inefficient design that will lead to bill shock. It’s essential to establish a new cloud operating model that strikes a balance between delivering the flexibility and innovation that your business wants, with the right level of control and governance, too. 

2. Embrace the hybrid operating model

There are many considerations on your cloud journey. One of the first challenges you’ll come up against is understanding the full extent of applications in use across your organisation today, their prioritisation in terms of business criticality and their key dependencies. Then it’s time to determine which applications you are targeting for migration, which cloud is most suitable and the need for any integration, re-factoring, and optimisation. Finally, it’s important to understand which applications cannot be moved and why; what is the best alternative for them? 

Once that’s done, the key is putting in place the right hybrid operating model to manage your public and private environments together, in a consistent way that allows you to achieve benefits across your organisation at scale. 

3. Adopt multiple management styles for multiple clouds

When it comes to cloud, one size doesn’t fit all. Many customers determine the choice of cloud on a workload by workload basis. They consider a range of different factors, including cost, performance and functionality to pick the appropriate cloud for the appropriate application. 

But the lack of standardisation and interoperability between clouds can prove challenging when it comes to achieving consistency, control and cost optimisation. This challenge becomes even more enduring as you roll out cloud-based solutions across your organisation, spanning multiple geographies and cloud providers. 

4. Source new skills for a new world

Thriving in the cloud requires new skills. While established ITIL-based processes will continue to play a role in managing the traditional part of your estate, they must be augmented with certified cloud experts who have hands-on experience for each of the cloud providers you work with. Unfortunately, these skills are in short supply and high demand. 

5. Simplify your cloud management 

One way to ease your cloud management burden is to work with a partner who can manage both your public and private clouds for you. This is a straightforward way to gain choice and control in the cloud. You’ll also be able to access the expert skills and capability to enable consistent monitoring and management of your hybrid environment, helping you achieve optimisation and freeing up your people to focus on what is core to your organisation — driving innovation and market share. 

Find out more about you can manage your multi-cloud environment.  

Operating in a multi-cloud age demands a new approach to IT management.”

Elena Christodoulou

Director, cloud alliances

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