White Paper

How to Solve Your Multicloud Optimization Challenges

Finding the right mix of solutions, strategies and services helps organizations tame their complex cloud environments.
by: Ranjani Krishnamurthy |
March 31, 2021

The vast majority of enterprises are leveraging resources from multiple public clouds. Many organizations rely on a private cloud and two or more public clouds — along with dozens of cloud software vendors — for infrastructure to power their mission-critical applications and house their most important data. 

Often, however, organizations arrive at a multicloud approach as the result of case-by-case decisions surrounding specific workloads, without an overarching strategy to guide their investments. This can lead to unwanted complexity, cost overruns and subpar performance. 

To solve the common challenges that inevitably pop up as multicloud environments grow to include more cloud vendors and different types of resources, a mix of strategies must be adopted — solutions and services that will set organizations on the path to success. A third-party partner is a vital component of most multicloud strategies. With strong cloud vendor relationships, these partners can help solve business problems for organizations, assessing and evaluating the existing environments, recommending solutions to enhance security and performance, and providing ongoing management services. 

Business and IT leaders should consider the following factors as they look to optimize their multicloud environments:

82%

The percentage of global decision-makers for IT infrastructure environments who say they anticipate increasing their public cloud investments in the next two years

Source: Forrester Consulting, “The Key to Enterprise Hybrid Multicloud Strategy,” January 2020

Security

One reason that many organizations initially resisted a move to the public cloud is because it shattered the notion of a network perimeter. While security teams knew how to best protect data moving through their internal networks, the prospect of sending sensitive information out into the public cloud was scary and unfamiliar. 

Tools such as a cloud access security broker (CASB) and solutions like cloud security posture management (CSPM) can help organizations manage security and compliance concerns, providing the same level of security organizations can achieve for their on-premises environments. A CASB sits between users and cloud applications, monitoring activity and enforcing organizations’ security policies. 

Meanwhile, CSPM solutions can alert organizations to configuration vulnerabilities and compliance risks. Security problems are often the result of human error, such as assigning overly broad permissions to users. External security assessments and workshops can help internal leaders to see security gaps they previously missed.

Migration

A cloud partner can help an organization migrate its workloads to the cloud by identifying which applications should be moved (and which should stay on-premises), determining if some applications would benefit from modernization, vetting different public cloud options and guiding the company through the transition from the corporate data center to the public cloud.

Automation and Orchestration

An orchestration layer stretching across various clouds will allow an organization to take advantage of all resource pools without fracturing operations. Automation is an essential part of orchestration, a broad term that includes tools and processes to reduce the manual effort required to provision and manage complex environments. By embracing orchestration and automation, organizations can simplify critical business processes.

Cloud Management

A cloud management platform (CMP) gives organizations real-time visibility into their private and public cloud resources, offering a centralized view of the entire environment. Organizations with strong policies around compliance, performance and cost management can utilize a CMP to implement these policies across their multicloud ecosystems, ensuring standardization. 

Managed services from a cloud partner can allow organizations to stay on top of their multicloud environments without having to take internal IT staffers (who often lack the necessary cloud expertise) away from their day-to-day tasks. Through management platforms and managed services, enterprises can truly optimize their multicloud environments, looking at usage patterns and rightsizing workloads to promote efficiency and prevent waste. 

Application Modernization

One of the chief benefits of a multicloud model is that it allows organizations to seamlessly move applications from one cloud environment to another. However, this only works if the apps have been modernized (with containerization being a common approach). Most organizations understand the importance of application modernization. According to a recent report, more than 70 percent of businesses rank application transformation as a top priority. Similarly, 40 percent plan to build new applications using containers, and nearly 75 percent plan to containerize existing applications. However, some organizations may lack internal expertise with application modernization, requiring assistance from a partner. 

Governance

When it comes to multicloud environments, governance is what makes everything possible. Setting up a cloud center of excellence (CCoE) can help establish an overarching cloud strategy and provide governance that will guide when, where and how workloads are migrated, run and secured. 

A CCoE is a cross-functional team of internal stakeholders who set cloud policy, guide provider selection and assist with architecture and workload placement — with the goals of improving outcomes and managing risks. While a CCoE typically doesn’t have any project management function or day-to-day operational responsibilities, the role it plays in the organization’s cloud computing practices is critically important. 

CCoE members should be considering questions such as how the organization can develop and enforce policies promoting both flexibility and security, how to guide internal users to select the best resources for various workloads, and how to best manage current costs and forecast future expenses.

To learn more about getting the most from your cloud investments, read the white paper “Managing and Optimizing Your Multicloud Environment” from CDW.

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