Many clouds were seen as a bad omen by sailors. They could barely navigate the sea without a clear view. The same applies to company captains in complex multi-cloud environments. How can you still make informed decisions?
According to Gartner’s forecasts, global cloud services revenue will grow to $ 305 billion in 2018. Compared to the previous year, this represents an increase of 17.5 percent. It’s becoming more and more important for IT managers to have a cloud environment that can cope with the demands of today and be fit for the future.
In addition, there are always new challenges, be it in terms of safety, automation, costs or performance. But how should one deal with these problems, if only the overview of the entire cloud environment is missing, if it is not clear how much it costs?
Application Mapping provides an overview
Application Mapping shows which business units are using which applications and cloud services. This allows companies to more easily monitor and document business services. Once created, such a map also helps IT assess the impact of changes in the software infrastructure on specific business processes.
Luckily you do not have to do the mapping of the applications with compass and pencil, there are a number of helpful tools for that. You can automatically collect data and discover applications – in corporate networks such as the cloud. Then they capture the dependencies between the different apps. The result is a map with well-founded information. Application Mapping promotes cooperation between application owners and configuration managers across all cloud services, ensuring that the cloud environment always meets the needs of business users.
If you decide to create such a map, the question arises, where to start. It could be important to map the business-critical services first – or start by branching to the applications. The disadvantage of these approaches is the prior knowledge, which is assumed: It must be clear which apps exist and how they are classified. This can scare off many users and pose too much of a hurdle.
Better is, therefore, the “start-anywhere approach”, which literally means what he describes: application owners can just start where they want – or with what they already know. The mapping can also be started from several points at the same time. This even gives IT teams the advantage of receiving information from multiple sources in case the relationships between applications are not directly apparent. This also alleviates the problems that standard tools have with modern multi-cloud environments.
Use new technologies at the right time
40 percent of IT decision makers worldwide do not know how much money their companies spend on cloud services. Nevertheless, 78 percent of IT managers think about integrating future technologies such as AI into their multi-cloud solutions. This is a worrying condition, because before you implement new developments, you should first know what the past services cost.
Much has changed with Multi Cloud architecture, and traditional IT infrastructure management methods have become obsolete. Those responsible must develop new management concepts in order to fully exploit the benefits of public clouds. This includes the use of technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence that help to reduce the complexity of environments – but only after the extent of this complexity is fully understood.
Agility, compliance, innovation and cost control – where to start?
In the survey, 44 percent of IT executives surveyed said the introduction of Multi-Cloud is critical to staying agile. At the same time, however, it is also a matter of preventing supplier lock-in for companies seeking a global cloud presence. One difficult decision is: Should one conclude a global contract with a single provider and drive cheaper? Or is it worthwhile paying more attention to local conditions (such as the EU data protection regulation) and national providers?
When deciding it helps, if you can weigh different approaches against each other. But to do this, companies need a clear view of the cost of all public, private, and hybrid cloud models. The most effective multi-cloud structures are therefore coupled with cost management solutions that monitor current and future expenses. It’s easy to see what your on-premise and cloud infrastructure costs are. In addition, unnecessary expenses are disclosed.
Last but not least, it is important to keep an eye on internet security and compliance testing. To remain competitive today, developers must critically review the previous software development lifecycle. In addition, companies should think about how they can leverage intelligence, automation, and predictive capabilities to waste less time on repetitive tasks.
The most important steps to maintain control over your own multi-cloud environment can be summed up briefly:
- Exact inventory: analysis of all cloud assets for a complete overview
- Rethinking management approaches: simplifying and automating as much as possible
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning can perform repetitive tasks in multi-cloud management
- Always include cloud costs: not everything has to run in the cloud
- Act proactively against computer security risks, ensure compliance
With these steps, multi-cloud environments can be managed to deliver the best performance and drive business. Many IT decision makers will rely on new methods and technologies to navigate their business safely and quickly – despite the cloud cover.