Sunday, February 28, 2016

Blueprint: Enterprise Cloud is the “New Normal,” Now It’s About Making It Work

by Boris Goldberg, co-founder of Cloudyn

Predictions from 2014 suggested that enterprises would flock to the cloud, which actually happened. The spectacular growth that AWS has already enjoyed along with the estimates that by the end of 2015, AWS revenues would reach somewhere upwards of $7 billion, show that this market has evolved into something that is much more than what was anticipated. While Microsoft Azure is still in second place, it has also witnessed significant growth, more than that of AWS. In fact, its enterprise enrollment offering has extended the range of services to support enterprises in the cloud. Taking a look closer at both AWS and Azure, the impact they have had on traditional infrastructure budgets in enterprises is astonishing. So what can we expect to see as the year enfolds?

1. Multi-Cloud Plans
Today, a great deal of IT organizations and enterprises want to migrate to the cloud, and when they do, they usually stick with one IaaS provider (which is generally AWS, the market leader). However, they also recognize the need to reduce vendor lock-in and continue cultivating previously arranged business engagements. For example, if an organization has been working with Microsoft for the past ten years through Enterprise Agreement using its MSDN or Office packages, the CIO will still want to leverage these types of long term agreements in order to support the organization’s cloud initiatives.

So how is it even possible to bring two, three, or even four different vendors into one place where you can control them all from a single pane of glass? Coping with this challenge in 2016 will entail adopting cloud management and governance solutions that will help streamline cost control and even compliance between the different environments.

2. Administrator Job FUD
Provisioning resources online with just a credit card rather than through long, cumbersome IT procurement and provisioning processes has forced admins to acquire new skills in order to navigate and leverage the world of IaaS. And with more enterprises implementing the DevOps methodology, they will continue enhancing their agile adoption and will apply more automation when it comes to testing, and delivering full application stacks in the cloud.

It is up to IT organization leaders to ensure their administrator teams have job security to quell anxiety (fear, uncertainty and doubt) that is likely to surface. They must also offer ongoing guidance and required tools to make the shift to cloud and better ensure healthy, controlled cloud environments.

3. Sharpened Cloud Tool Belts
In 2015, we saw how production workloads from the largest enterprises in the world were moved to AWS. Today, enterprise IT leaders understand the public cloud’s economies of scale and recognize their ability to invest far more in aspects such as security. However, using a robust cloud offering does not mean that an environment will be robust. Management tools are still needed to ensure that cloud environments do not suffer from a lack of best practices when it comes to performance and security. While it’s critical that the infrastructure is well formed, enterprises also need to have the right tools and skills that are necessary to deploy and manage this highly dynamic and complex environment.

Throughout 2016, expect to see IT admins gain a deeper understanding of cloud implementation and best practices, as well as look for the right management tools in order to fulfill their side of the cloud’s shared responsibility model.

4. Cloud Financial Management
Users today are aware of the need to control their cloud costs, however cloud financial management is not only about costs. Values, such as delivery speed, flexibility, and even actual business revenues, which have been driven by leveraging the cloud, should also be recognized. This can be done by merging usage, performance and cost monitoring under one umbrella, which is where your cloud financial management solution comes into play. It should be able to show you how your cloud purchases have increased business performance.

2016 will embrace this shift in thought processes. IT leaders will recognize the great financial opportunities that the cloud has put in their hands and start making implementation plans for comprehensive financial management solutions.

5. The Hybrid Cloud has Landed
This year, we should expect to see hybrid clouds gain even more prominence, specifically in the discussion of financial and security management, with the focus of the year being how to manage and confront complex hybrid environments.      

Summary

Now that it’s clear that the business sector has embraced cloud computing and companies are implementing adoption or building environments, it's time to gain a deeper understanding. This means that the focus should be shifted to enhancing your personal skills and your team’s skills. With more sophisticated cloud operations, you will be able to create better alignment with your enterprise goals and ultimately allow IT to have a much bigger impact on business than ever before.

About the Author

Boris Goldberg is a co-founder of Cloudyn and serves as its Chief Technology Officer, responsible for its technology and architectural direction. Boris has more than 25 years of hands-on experience in configuration discovery, configuration management and business service management solutions. He served as Chief Architect for Evolven, and also served as Senior R&D Manager and Sr. Architect for BMC Performance Monitoring Solutions.



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