Many companies are discovering that migrating their data centers to cloud requires a refreshed look across the business, particularly at IT tools. And more businesses are finding they require some form of cloud management platform (CMP). What do we mean by a platform? It includes technology and features to manage cloud use, services to enable effective, efficient and secure cloud consumption, and access to solutions and ecosystem partners. All together they provide an enterprise with a posture to win in the new world.
A CMP represents a set of capabilities and services for companies struggling with moving the day-to-day details of their traditional legacy operations to cloud. Comprising cloud provisioning, automation, orchestration, billing, analytics, governance and policy, a CMP can help manage risk and costs as a single entity. And an intelligent, highly-evolved CMP can help reduce the complexity of the technology landscape and facilitate as-a-service operations for digital businesses—a control plane for the move to cloud.
Beyond convenience, agility and speed, a mature CMP offers numerous advantages for getting to cloud:
Freedom with control. A CMP integrates public and private clouds, legacy applications and infrastructure, providing services such as configuration, backup, patching and antivirus, helping bridge the agile and traditional IT worlds to choose the most appropriate solution.
Improved speed with service blueprints. Standardized, pre-integrated services developed from proven practices and methodologies ensure quality delivery. Cloud application blueprints improve IT productivity and speed of delivery while mitigating risk with support for multiple cloud provider templates. Companies can quickly request, configure and provision simple virtual machine blueprints or full enterprise business application stacks.
Capacity and cost management. The shift from upfront purchasing to monthly consumption represents a huge cultural change in most organizations. Controls and intelligent analytics help companies plan for, control and manage costs in the month they occur, giving them greater governance over spend. These services help prevent dramatic cost overruns typically caused by misunderstanding the spending or usage model, or not realizing the scope of cloud operations. It also allows for streamlined chargeback to cost centers and the ability to sort multiple vendor bills tied to universal tags.
Expert guidance. A CMP can help companies navigate the evolution and mix of a growing number of providers, offering intelligent analytics and data for performance optimization of all resources. When coupled with expert advisory services, it can deliver superior business value. Keeping track of these elements, providing expert advice and executing the right operational tasks are key to realizing the value of cloud. Otherwise, it becomes another static cost to the business.
Governance. Companies can use a CMP to comply with newly defined policies and procedures, manage resource allocation across countries and support required reporting, so they can focus on more critical business needs. It’s critical for any organization moving to cloud to provide permission sets and operational integrity, which enables access to appropriate services required for individual projects.
Security and service operations. A CMP can help ensure operational integrity, high service levels and consistency across firewall rules, software version control, maintenance fixes, and virus and malware protection.
Cloud offers unprecedented opportunities for enterprises to make a real transformation, to catch up to the more nimble players that are building digital partnerships, designing deliverables based on market outcomes and generally disrupting their markets. And a well-designed, trusted and tested CMP is an optimal way to get to cloud faster, with far fewer difficulties that ultimately doesn’t just enable their new systems, but also accommodates investments in the old.