If you work in IT in the enterprise business space chances are the following scenario will sound familiar.
You have spent the better part of the past few years working hard to help support or build a business that is more dynamic and responsive to everyone's needs. A business which doesn't see IT as the bottleneck where all ideas cost a million dollars and take a year to implement.
You are not only on board with the boss' 'cloud first' strategy, you are now advising them on the best approach to take. You may have introduced new cloud based systems (whether they are public or private), migrated workloads to the cloud and perhaps even built a new network to support your new cloud based world.
If this sounds like you and your business then the first thing you should do is take a break and think about what you have achieved. It isn't easy - believe me I understand. But you should be happy that you have provided the business with the ability to grow and change as it needs to in order to survive in this very competitive world. We often fall into the mindset of putting out fires and not actually realising what has been accomplished.
Companies who have completed this shift often hit a new wall. They have introduced more flexibility but now struggle to monitor their newly refreshed IT shop. There can also be issues with rapid deployment of systems between test and development and production. A lack of cloud-enabled processes, orchestration and automation are a few reasons these issues can arise.
One good thing about the old days was if there was no more space or hardware left then people had to learn to clean up and use what they had because they had no choice. This is not the case with cloud, where the worker often feels they have unlimited resources just a few clicks away. In bringing agility to the business, control has been relaxed.
If you are in this situation it is now time to start thinking about management. What is the first word you think of when "cloud management" comes to mind? For a lot of people first thing that usually comes to mind is control. But ultimately I believe this is the wrong approach.
Enforcing strict control measures means you start to lose the fluidity you worked so hard to achieve in the first place. It also displays a lack of trust of people too, whether they deserve it or not. So the word I would like to replace control with is visibility. Giving your business visibility of all of its systems in place no matter where they are in the cloud is important. It means you can predict and be aware of what's going on without putting in place more bureaucracy. Putting too much control into a business created Shadow IT in the first place, while creating visibility gives you enormous power.
A good way to introduce visibility to your IT in this new multi-cloud based world (on-premises and public) is to use a management platform. There are a few tools out there that do this. They have been quietly cultivating over the past three years or so. I remember using some of this software a few years back and I honestly thought, why would I bother. It was a solution for a problem that didn't exist yet.... Well I'm now eating my words.
Our IT group at Telstra spent quite some time researching different Cloud management platforms. We needed one that allowed businesses to connect to different clouds and have the ability to build a template once that can then be deployed many times. It needed to have a programming/API first view of the world with full orchestration capability for maximum flexibility. Most importantly it needed the ability to show the business owners full visibility of what is where and how much it was going to cost the business. After months and months of testing, trialing and running the mouse around that wheel we found that RightScale was the best product in the market to power our Telstra Cloud Management Platform.
Through the development of our Cloud Management Platform we are not only helping our customers but ourselves too as our internal IT team is now focusing on implementing it throughout the business. So if you're interested in a software-as-a-service style cloud management platform born in the cloud that is leading in Forrester's Wave report and are keen to understand what it could do for your cloud management woes then let the cloud folks of Telstra know and get them to show you a demo. I have seen it for myself and once you see the power it can bring back to your business you won't look back.
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