Cloud control: the perils of running a multi-cloud environment

The key ingredient for any organisation looking to drive digital transformation is Cloud. Actually, scratch that: it is Clouds. But how do you manage multiple Clouds without getting bogged down by digital paperwork?

For many years, all an organisation had to do was keep up with the latest innovations and they would thrive. Ethernet? We all wanted a bit of that 10 years ago.

Unfortunately, this ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ mentality is no longer fit for purpose; today, organisations find themselves in the position where they have to actively drive innovation. Decision-makers must drive business through digital transformation initiatives, digitising wherever possible.

Digital transformation gives organisations a better chance of staying ahead of the traditional competition. It allows them to adapt externalised consumer and customer services, and to innovate and evolve beyond the new-breed Cloud-native market entrants.

Juggling clouds: pros and cons

Pros and cons concept. Business man with cardboard plus and minus symbol signs.

In the course of pursuing digital transformation initiatives, organisations often end up operating more than one Cloud environment. This makes sense: not only does having multiple Cloud environments spread the workload, thereby boosting efficiency, but it also spreads business data, thereby mitigating many security risks. (Put simply: hackers will find it harder to access your data if it’s spread out.)

But having multiple Cloud environments to look after brings its own challenges. Foremost among these is the challenge of knowing what’s going on at any given time: there’s productivity to analyse, usage to look at, and spend to check.

To cover these bases ordinarily means checking each Cloud individually – and that means having to log onto several Cloud portals. Not only this, but you’ll have to keep track of the multiple contracts you have to go along with your multiple Clouds.

For crying out Cloud! The frustrations of running a huge IT estate

Businessman burying his head uner a laptop asking for help

Cloud should help organisations innovate. Stuck in a cycle, wherein strategies to innovate, create new services, and support growth in wider areas are stalled by the need to attend to legacy systems and services and maintain service availability, organisations naturally look to Cloud migration to help them get out.

In practice, the administrative effort needed to run a multi-Cloud IT estate (which brings all sorts of complications with it) can actually make Cloud just another barrier to progress.

The blue-sky Cloud management model

What do you need to run multiple Clouds and be free of the usual administrative obstructions to innovation that come with it? Here are the ideal conditions:

  1. Ability to offer a mix of on-premise Private and Public Cloud services, where use is only restricted where the services don’t meet the corporate compliance and data protection needs of the business
  2. Single view of all services, performance, SLA, commercial spend and availability
  3. Increased agility for workload migration between Clouds
  4. Centralised view on spending across the Cloud landscape to optimise IT budget and make the best use of committed and variable Cloud contracts
  5. The simple commercial approach, leading to supply chain optimisation
  6. Freeing up of IT staff to focus on customer change programmes instead of keeping the lights on – accelerating digital change

Delivering the blue-sky model: The Power of One

Blue sky and white clouds background

Exponential-e has developed an initiative to provide our customers with all of the above. It’s called ‘the Power of One’. Along with a single-pane-of-glass view of their complete Cloud environment, this initiative provides them with one bill, one service model, and one support model across the customer landscape.

To achieve ‘the Power of One’, we have built a new operational model for our customers that allows them a central access point, through our Cloud Management Platform, to consolidate and manage all of their existing and new Cloud services.

The CMP allows true visualisation, management, role-based access control and centralised billing, whether that be a customer’s on-premise assets, a private or Hyperconverged platform we provide, our own multi-tenant Cloud or a wide range of public Clouds, such as AWS, Azure and Google.

More information:

Jonathan brings experience from all spectrums of the IT lifecycle from engineering, design & development, strategy, consulting, service delivery, transformation and sales. His career spanning the last 17 years had been across multiple global system integrators such as Atos, Fujitsu and HP and for the past 10 years has been focussed around driving innovation to customers through the leverage of Cloud technology and services. His passion is helping customers harness new and emerging technologies and services to drive innovation within the business and be agile to respond to market change. At Exponential-e his core focus is supporting customers in transforming their IT services to enable the business to drive their digital transformation strategy, working with the teams across Exponential-e to drive innovative release of new services as well as strengthening Exponential-e’s Analyst, CIO and Partner community.

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