Just Moved To The Cloud? Best Practices For Effective Cloud Management

A cloud is a group of interconnected global servers that perform specific functions. The cloud is not a single tangible entity but a series of remote servers that exist worldwide and function as one ecosystem. In the early stages of its inception, the cloud was a tool that expressed empty space between its provider and user.

Cloud computing was popularised in the 1990s with the widespread use of virtual computer networks. Professor Ramnath Chellapa of Emory University stated in 1997 that cloud computing would be the new computing paradigm determined by economic rationale. True to the Professor’s words, Salesforce was the first company to adopt cloud computing in 1999 successfully.

As the 2000s rolled in, more companies adopted cloud computing in their daily business operations. Amazon joined the paradigm in 2002 by creating web-based retail services and became the first company to use 10% of its computing output capacity. The company developed Amazon Web Services in 2006.

Amazon Mechanical Turk was one of Amazon’s web services (AWS), the first infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) site offering cloud-based storage, computation, and human intelligence services. This marked the beginning of cloud management. Public clouds were familiar and accessible; however, there was a commercial demand for private clouds.

In 2008, Eucalyptus was the first to provide an AWS application programming interface-compliant platform for deploying private clouds. Enterprises could own and customise their cloud servers to suit their needs. Public and private servers were pitted against each other. However, the two serves complemented each other in the grand scheme.

The idea of direct cloud connectivity came from hybrid clouds that were first introduced in 2011. IBM SmartCloud and Apple iCloud were launched at the time and offered hybrid cloud services. A hybrid cloud management tool that assisted companies in building, deploying, and administering private and public clouds is credited to CloudBolt, founded in 2012.

The two decades of the evolution of cloud computing have made it the default infrastructure for data management in most businesses and organisations. Cloud platforms are faced with various challenges as they evolve. This article recommends the best practices for effective cloud management.


Setting Up A Cloud Center Of Excellence (CCoE)

Cloud migration has been made accessible in recent years. However, the cloud is still a complex entity requiring technical skills. Therefore, it is advisable to set up a cloud center of excellence (CCoE) dedicated to creating shared solutions, promoting best practices, and learning new skills that other teams within the organisation can incorporate.

A CCoE ideally constitutes a team with representatives from management, IT, core business functions, and end-users. The team’s combined experience will help develop cloud solutions to improve operation efficiency, ensure data security, minimise operation costs, shorten information response time, and improve the quality of cloud services.

Cloud Migration Strategy

Cloud migration will allow your company to simplify and keep track of data lineage. Furthermore, the company will make its data ecosystem operate efficiently. The migration strategy needs pre-planning to prioritise the data workloads and applications. Cataloguing the workload based on its importance is a good strategy for prioritisation.

A good strategy also involves picking the right tool and methods for migration. Ideally, the right tool will maximise minimal resources, ensure cost-effectiveness, be region-based, and deploy an efficient team to manage it. Migration methods could include:

  • Partial refactoring
  • Full refactoring
  • Incorporating software-as-a-service (Saas) or platform-as-a-service (PaaS)

These are examples of cloud migration strategies that one can apply in an organisation.

Centralised Cloud Governance

A collection of guidelines and regulations known as “cloud governance” is used by businesses to manage cloud-based services. Cloud governance’s objectives are enhancing data security, controlling risk, and facilitating the efficient functioning of cloud systems. Centralising cloud governance ensures that company goals are achieved on a timely basis.

Cloud Optimisation

Cloud infrastructure requires occasional maintenance and optimisation to eliminate resource wastage. The available infrastructure architecture in the current market is crucial in cloud optimisation. An organisation with access to the infrastructure can scale resources up or down depending on the company’s demands.

Identifying possible discounted prices, flagging under or overutilised resources, and comparing service price and efficiency on multiple cloud platforms are ways to maximise cloud optimisation. The IT operations department is tasked with cloud optimization since they have an insight into the application and workload features that draw customers’ attention.

Integration Of Cloud Platforms With Business

An organisation migrating to the cloud intends to integrate business operations with the cloud. Adding cloud integration to the organisation’s key performance indicators will help monitor cloud consumption in daily operations. Setting up feedback mechanisms for internal and external cloud users will help gauge user experience.

Conclusion

Cloud integration helps break down data silos and improves visibility and network connectivity. With this technology applied to any business organisation, you can expect improvement in internal communication, customer service and customer retention. Furthermore, if properly executed, your organisation can have a reduced operational cost and increase in revenue.

Lastly, effective cloud management can help the overall business operation to be efficient and flexible. Stakeholders and leaders can focus on making major decisions and expanding the market.