“Many enterprises are moving into a hybrid world — whether it’s the emerging workplace model or cloud environment. With the latter, a mix of private and public cloud services offers the flexibility organizations are looking for in a business environment that seems to be constantly shifting.”
Many companies who have adopted a multi cloud IT solution are discovering the operational complexities of deploying and managing their IT systems on separate clouds. Each cloud vendor has their own Graphic User Interface (GUI) for deploying systems (if using the GUI) and slightly different code layout and code commands if using scripted deployment. This means that IT departments must either be conversant in at least 2 GUI’s or maintain 2 (or more) sets of code. The alternative to this is either to invest in a third party product that can deploy to multiple clouds (for example: https://www.hashicorp.com/products/terraform) and then invest in training their employees to use this new product, or to hire developers who can write cloud native code which is cloud agnostic (both solutions involving both additional costs and time delays).
Some organisations have plumbed for an on premises cloud solution that can be extended into a public cloud, yet retains all the management and operational tools that the IT teams are already familiar with. (for example VMware) While this solution looks to be the best solution, again organisations are unaware of the additional cost implications such as licencing and WAN costs.
One of the greatest issues with public cloud deployment is cost control in a “pay-as-you-go” utility style billing environment. It is far too easy to leave the “meter running” on unused or occasionally used systems (a legacy from on premises hardware running 24x7x365). Cost control can only really be implemented when an organisation has a system of mandatory change control and asset management in place.
Change in mindset
For a company to be truly effective in deployment, management and cost control in their hybrid (on premises/public cloud or public cloud/public cloud) environment they need to change their IT deployment processes. To start with, companies should look to their current IT processes (current Business Process Design (BPD)) and how this will change when working in the cloud (Business Process Redesign (BPR)). Then IT must become more AGILE in their IT processes, by this I’m inferring changing the reactionary IT mindset into a revolutionary business driver (entrepreneurial) mindset where IT can drive a company into the future. As such IT then plays a similar role to marketing with new idea’s and concepts that can benefit the organisation.
Lack of standards or established practices
Far too few organisations actually look at their Migration (into the cloud) process. For many companies their cloud adoption model is more of a top down management driver of “we need to, as everyone else is..” approach. Little thought is placed on completing a system asset register and what systems should move, where they should move or even IF they should move. One of the best practices of moving to the cloud is to assess the 6 R’s of migrating:
Repurchase (move to a different product)
Refactor / Re-architect (re-imaging how your application is currently architected and developed)
Retain (do nothing for now: leave-as-is)
The bottom line before investing in a cloud based strategy is training… For a relatively small (when compared with the costs of running IT in the cloud) expense for training, users can experience working in the cloud quickly and effectively and this can save an organisation a substantial sum of money that could be wasted in an adopting the wrong cloud solution.