The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led many organizations to further adopt public clouds, and geopolitical conflicts have demonstrated the importance and need for sovereign clouds. Today, many organizations are already embracing or are moving to multi-cloud environments, but this multi-cloud reality does not come without its challenges.
As the nature of the cloud evolves, so does the strategy in which organizations must approach these challenges. What does remain the same is the cloud concerns the organization must manage, such as cost, performance, security, and app delivery.
Establishing a Cloud Center of Excellence is one way to ensure that these concerns are continuously and consistently managed, no matter where you are in your cloud transformation and as business needs evolve. More importantly, with the cloud underpinning modern organizations’ digital businesses, a Cloud Center of Excellence ensures that your cloud management strategy is in alignment with driving business outcomes.
1. Establish a Cloud Center of Excellence
While some organizations have already begun seeing success with multi-cloud strategies, having different business apps and services across different clouds can make it difficult for organizations to ensure approaches to processes and management concerns remain consistent.
To address cloud management concerns around cost, performance, security, and app delivery, many companies have established a Cloud Center of Excellence, a cross-functional team tasked with the responsibility of supporting and governing the execution of an organization’s cloud strategy. A Cloud Center of Excellence team would be responsible for establishing policies and guardrails, driving collaboration and adoption of best practices, and supporting the implementation of new and existing cloud technologies. Thus, enabling centralized management for a decentralized IT delivery model.
The Cloud Center of Excellence team will help identify who within the organization needs to be involved to ensure cloud objectives are well-defined and aligned with business goals. This group should include those responsible for managing cloud cost, cloud operations, security, application development, and enterprise architecture. Ultimately, a Cloud Center of Excellence is pivotal to driving collaboration and setting standards, policies, and best practices that ensure cloud operations are addressing ongoing management concerns across all clouds.
2. Empower Platform Teams by Simplifying Your Cloud Management Strategy
During VMware Explore Europe in Barcelona, VMware polled its audience in order to better understand their cloud management needs. The majority of audience members shared they felt it necessary to not only converge their tools but their teams as well. These same respondents also overwhelmingly indicated that if they could simplify their cloud management approach, it would help them achieve greater cost optimization results, more relevant business insights, and better guardrails around their cloud operations. Having different teams use multiple tools to manage their public and private clouds was an obvious pain point in their cloud management strategy.
Organizations can help meet the need for integrated teams and tools through platform teams. They not only build and run the platform that developers use to create new applications to drive business revenue, but they also serve as a channel between developer teams, operations teams, and security teams. The platform team provides a route for business leaders, security personnel, and the rest of the organization to communicate business needs and meet business challenges, including management concerns.
3. Empower Your Cloud Center of Excellence with Visibility
Without visibility of your cloud applications and their dependencies, it becomes impossible for the Cloud Center of Excellence team to achieve its objectives. Teams are unable to manage what they cannot see. Teams need visibility into the infrastructure to assess spending and application efficiency.
Visibility can be mutually beneficial if you provide your team access to a unified cloud management platform. Doing so enables teams to view factors such as cloud cost, resource utilization, and application performance by business groups across all clouds. A unified cloud management solution also helps teams proactively detect and remediate misconfigurations in your cloud environment. This saves time by not having to review data for violations that may not exist, leaving more time for the team to continue building out best practices.
The main goal of cloud management is to correlate cloud decisions to business outcomes. Organizations that embrace a Cloud Center of Excellence will be able to pursue a cloud management strategy that’s in alignment with the goals of the business, while also remaining nimble to respond to challenges as the nature of the cloud evolves.
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