cloud management services 

The cloud transformation journey for any enterprise starts with aligning the organisation’s business objectives to the cloud strategy. Of course, the starting point is to decide the cloud migration strategy, but once data and applications are moved to the cloud – ongoing cloud management, modernisation, and upgrades are key aspects as well.  

In this blog, we look at best practices organisations can adopt to develop an effective cloud infrastructure management strategy and the role of cloud management services companies in making sure there is continuous improvement to the overall cloud transformation program.  

In previous blogs on cloud computing, we covered the importance of aligning an organisation’s objectives with its cloud strategy, and the critical steps to follow before and during cloud migration.  

In this blog, we’re going to look at what organisations need to do after migrating their data, applications, and other assets to the cloud. More specifically, we’ll be talking about cloud infrastructure management and cloud management services.  

What does cloud infrastructure management mean?  

Cloud infrastructure management means managing, monitoring and securing resources on a public, private or hybrid cloud to ensure it continues to be reliable, cost-effective and secure.  

Cloud management is as important as cloud migration because; 

  • It eases the task of IT personnel in tracking, using, allocating, analysing and monitoring resources on cloud 
  • It facilitates workflow automation where necessary so that cloud resources can be managed with minimal human intervention 
  • It promotes efficiency by ensuring that the cloud space is used effectively and data and apps are optimised with growth and change within a business 

The most common and costly problem post migration 

Did you know? Though cloud adoption has accelerated by leaps and bounds in the last couple of years, management of resources on the cloud has remained one of the key challenges organisations face today. Recent data released in Cloudwards revealed that post-cloud migration, some of the biggest challenges organisations faced was in managing cloud computing spending (82%), governance (79%), and securing resources (83%). 

While there is no hard and fast rule on how resources need to be managed on the cloud, there are a few best practices that organisations can follow to ensure sustained effectiveness on the cloud. Let’s look at what they are –  

  • Determining Data Management and Data Retention During Migration 
  • Creating Collaboration between IT and Business Teams 
  • Establishing Cost Management Strategies 
  • Focusing on Security, Privacy, Governance & Compliance 
  • Encouraging Automation Where Necessary 
  • Monitoring Resources on Cloud 
  • Proper training and onboarding of cloud management expertise  

Determining Data Management and Data Retention During Migration 

When developing a cloud migration strategy, one of the most important things an organisation needs to do is to determine which data to move to the cloud, and which to retain on-premises. This ensures the optimisation of cloud space and also results in better performance and management of cloud resources.  

One other component that organisations must consider is data retention. It is advisable for the IT team to come up with a data retention policy document ahead of migrating resources, to determine the time duration for each data set, when, how, and by whom it has to be maintained by and later eliminated, and what steps should be taken in the event of a compliance failure.  

A clear data retention strategy helps manage storage optimally, cut unnecessary spending and ensure optimal performance of applications on the cloud. 

As a Merit expert adds, “In order to optimise performance and cost of cloud infrastructure, it is critical to think about the various processes and workflows involved in ongoing maintenance and cloud management. There has to be seamless coordination between the cloud strategy team and the IT team responsible for cloud infrastructure management, to make sure everything from data retention, performance, security, governance, and cloud cost optimisation is considered. While it may be easy to say migrate first and then manage, in reality, cloud migration and cloud management are completely intertwined and correlated.”  

Constant Collaboration between IT and Business Teams 

In one of our earlier blogs, we touched upon the need for IT and business teams to collaborate during cloud migration. Typically, when an organisation is moving its resources across various functions or products/services to the cloud, teams tend to work in silos, often spending on resources they find necessary for optimal storage, performance and security. If the organisation is able to bring its teams together to understand what their requirements are, and what the intended output on the cloud is, they can plan on spending better, thus ensuring cost-effectiveness and optimal performance at the same time. 

Establishing Cost Management Strategies 

Cost management simply means identifying ways to find cost-effective solutions to manage data and resources on the cloud. During migration, costs typically include spending on training and development of human resources, spending on storage, networks, web services, software licenses, and the like.  

Cost management begins during the process of migration and extends well after, for maintenance as well. For example, during migration, organisations can ensure that they choose a cloud service that is optimal for their needs, they choose a cloud platform provider that allows them to scale up or scale down resources when needed, allows for automation, and removes latent resources. Over and above this, the organisation needs to lay down policies on cloud usage and spending. 

We’ll be talking more extensively about effective strategies organisations can adopt to minimise cloud infrastructure costs in the upcoming blog. 

Focusing on Governance & Compliance 

We all are familiar by now that defaulting on following compliance policies, especially GDPR in Europe, and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) in California can cost companies dearly.  

From the time an organisation decides to adopt a cloud-first strategy, it needs to keep governance and compliance policies in mind. For example, organisations that operate in BFSI and Healthcare may have to follow stricter data protection regulations, so they may want to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy, where sensitive data is stored in a private cloud, instead of public cloud.  

Keeping in mind general governance and regulatory guidelines, organisations also need to understand how the cloud provider can enable them to remain compliant while operating on the cloud. This necessitates that at the organisational level too. IT leaders come up with a cloud compliance policy to ensure that data is protected and secure even at the access and identity level. 

Automate Processes Where Necessary 

Cloud automation means including integrations that automate manual work and enable resources to put their time and effort into more useful tasks. While cloud automation may seem like a threat to job security, it is not necessarily so. It frees up more time for employees, reduces errors from human intervention, and saves costs for organisations. 

Monitoring Resources & Managing Performance of Applications on Cloud 

When we say cloud monitoring, we mean keeping an eye on cloud health by monitoring the usage and performance of applications, networks, web servers, and other cloud infrastructure. 

Typically, organisations have a cloud monitoring strategy and develop SLOs (service level objectives) to benchmark optimal performance to current status. Cloud monitoring has several advantages; 

  • It can detect potential data breaches and threats 
  • It can detect machine-made or human errors and fix them, to ensure that the systems and applications are performing optimally 
  • It can present valuable data and metrics on how the products, services, and websites are performing, which organisations can use in turn to improve end-user experience 

Merit’s Expertise in Cloud Migration and Cloud Infrastructure Management 

Merit works with a broad range of clients and industry sectors, designing and building bespoke applications and data platforms combining software engineering, AI/ML, and data analytics.  

We migrate legacy systems with re-architecture and by refactoring them to contemporary technologies on modern cloud ecosystems. Our software engineers build resilient and scalable solutions with cloud services ranging from simple internal software systems to large-scale enterprise applications.  

Our agile approach drives every stage of the customer journey; from planning to design development and implementation, delivering impactful and cost-effective digital transformations.  

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