In my experience as a consultant to organizations, I constantly see managers struggle to understand “the right way to manage the cloud.” What’s important to emphasize, is that building a cloud computing infrastructure “the right way” takes into account successfully migrating your business to the cloud. Migration is a critical issue. Taking it into account when building your infrastructure will help you avoid difficult problems, as well as save you money. This article will provide you with the right methodology to plan and migrate your business to the cloud, including the 5 pillars of cloud management.

Getting started
Cloud management is an easy and user-friendly way for a company to retain control over its base of servers, applications and/or software, data storage, network platform and much more. Using ‘The Cloud’ – a single platform via the internet, your IT team can use a cloud environment to cover any type of business activity, including resource deployment, data integration, tracking, and disaster recovery.

The 5 Pillars of Cloud Management

1. Cost management can be challenging when it comes to managing a cloud infrastructure. This can happen because cloud providers make it easy to add resources to your environment, which in turn leads to creating a resource sprawl. The result is that businesses lose track of their spending and don’t have any idea about how their business is growing. To manage cost spent, services that aren’t in use, should be turned off so that all the necessary functions can be executed at once. Every cloud management system uses a different mechanism and reporting structures to monitor resource costs. It’s important to know the metrics for the group, so that you can attain the services you need.

2. Cloud security and compliance methods also vary between cloud services. These protect the cloud’s infrastructure, data and other resources Use third-party tools to fill the gaps in meeting your cloud security needs. Hundreds of best practices have been adopted by the cloud industry to lockdown user permissions, control inbound and outbound traffic, enforce encryption, protect storage, and so on. Use compliance-related best practices to map local, federal, and international standards and meet regulations such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, NIST, and others. Working with a provider that offers complete compliance support can be a game-changer, helping you to pass audits and keep your mind at ease.

3. Billing and cost allocation for cloud services can vary from simple to complex, depending on the type of business you run. Use a cloud solution that enables you to understand where your charges are coming from, allocate charges to different departments or customers, and forecast future expenses so that you can make long-term commitments to reduce costs. Pay-as-you-go models are common with cloud billing services.

4. Utilization tools allow cloud management to monitor activities, arrange process flow, manage costs, keep data secure, and more. However, what tools you need depend on your company’s offerings and capabilities. All cloud tools enable access through a command-line interface for individual commands and scripts.

5. Workflow automation enable agencies and organizations to modify business policies into virtual steps that automatically create, manage, and monitor cloud deployments. For example, cloud automation allows you to maintain your business concerns for compliance and reporting by alerting you to deviations in real-time, such as someone trying to access data from outside certain parameters.

Building the right cloud-management foundation

A strong cloud-management foundation matters, not just for now, but for the future. Having the right foundation means you can build your business with today’s needs in mind but with the flexibility you require to grow with you into the future.
Because your success largely depends on the strength of your cloud optimization and security solutions, it’s important to make sure that your cloud strategy focuses on cloud management services, tools and automation that best suit your needs. You want an IT staff that remains in-the-know with cloud technology and has the expertise to respond to changing policies and workflows as required.

Why You Need a Cloud Management Platform (CMP)

Now that the need for cloud migration is clear, it’s important to point out that what you may need is a cloud management platform (CMP). In fact, this just may be your best resource for a
comprehensive IT solution. A CMP helps enhance your IT offerings and solve complex business challenges across departments. It can help your business accelerate its service delivery, manage and control security on a variety of IT assets, enhance overall system efficiency, and strengthen communications between business units.
And while fast, reliable and affordable hosting services are chief concerns. Add to them, ways to reduce unused virtual resources, forecast future cloud management costs, and obtain detailed reports that will provide you with complete visibility into your cloud infrastructure expenses.
A CMP will enable you to stay on top of your IT environment and reduce overall IT costs, while helping you to manage all levels of complexity of your virtual solutions and applications.

Rotem Rozmarin

CTO, Microsoft Regional Director

Jan 2020