One of the most complicated process for enterprises is to select, buy, and deploy public cloud services and tools, while avoiding the pitfalls.
Since there are numerous cloud providers out there, the infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders find it difficult to select the right cloud provider. Also, no two cloud providers are the same.
“Choosing and managing cloud offerings is a critical skill for I&O leaders to master, given cloud computing’s central role in next-generation initiatives such as digital business, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence,” says Elias Khnaser, Senior Research Director at Gartner.
“Years from now, you don’t want to look back with regret, as the choices you make can have a lasting impact.”
To avoid looking back with regret, Gartner has identified five priorities that will help I&O leaders to select, buy, and deploy cloud offerings.
1. Analyze technical and architectural details of cloud providers
Technical architecture is critical for every organization, as it needs to integrate with the workflows, not only now but also in the years to come. Also, the technical architectures of most cloud platforms are large, complex and difficult to understand.
Gartner said that it is important to determine the key components of the architectures, the way they work together and affect the overall solution. Technical categories that should be prioritized should include self-service, elasticity, network access, security, regulatory compliance, and operational capabilities.
2. Understand the way cloud services measure up against requirements
I&O leaders should consider how the cloud services stack up against the key requirements and criteria of their organization. For instance, before choosing a standard cloud offering, the main requirements can be simplicity, performance, feature set, and costs.
The key requirements can be slightly different for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and application platform as a service (aPaaS). For IaaS, the key consideration areas should be compute, network, storage, security and support. Whereas, for aPaaS, these should be application architecture components, developer tools, virtualization and hosting architecture, code deployment, life cycle management, scalability, and availability.
3. Learn about cloud provider’s approach to security and compliance tools
Nowadays, the enterprises are increasing adoption of cloud services. With that, the requirement to meet regulatory and data privacy rules to govern the process of data has also increased.
For example, EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to all enterprises that process and hold personal data of European organizations.
As per Gartner, I&O leaders should understand the approach of cloud provider to data privacy and compliance regulations.
4. Set criteria for evaluating cloud management solutions
Because of the increasing adoption of cloud services, the cloud providers today offer new cloud-native offerings. When there are several services and tools, it is important to have cloud management platforms and tools.
Hence, organizations should create a criterion to evaluate cloud management solutions, and a strategy to guide their selection and implementation processes.
5. Prepare for cloud service governance
Enterprises generally give more importance to time-to-functionality decisions as compared to planning for long-term stability and support. However, I&O leaders should take time to prepare for cloud service governance by understanding the process and architecture options.
“An effective cloud account governance and design strategy provides I&O leaders with the ability to effectively scale, avoid sprawl, and reduce networking and management complexities. This helps avoid the need for disruptive retrofitting of the infrastructure months or years after it has transformed into a critical production platform,” says Khnaser.