What is cloud management?
Cloud management is the process of overseeing, securing, and managing all of an organization’s cloud computing data and resources over their private, public, and hybrid environments. Cloud management can be performed by a company’s internal IT team or a third party service provider. Through effective cloud management, IT professionals can create and tailor cloud resources that best fit an organization, team or individual requirements. In recent years, organizations have increased their focus on ways to strengthen, secure, and manage their cloud infrastructure as a means to be nimble, manage costs, and stay competitive in the market.
Cloud management helps organizations manage legacy applications and cloud services simultaneously. Through dashboard reporting, organizations can monitor performance and control the policies and processes that align with their existing architecture.
Types of cloud management service models
Cloud management can be applied to support many types of cloud service models, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS). With IaaS, cloud management operates the basic functions of the cloud, including virtualization, servers, storage, and networking. In contrast, with SaaS, cloud management addresses the configuration and operation of the environment while the cloud provider operates the cloud compute and software layers. Somewhere in the middle is PaaS, where cloud management is applied to the application and data service layers.
As with any technology, cloud services are constantly evolving. As a result, organizations may need to make changes to their cloud environment to enable new features and services. It can be difficult to navigate new cloud services and changing pricing models. Inconsistent pricing can add to the complexity of evolving cloud management services. Without standardizing pricing across cloud platforms, many organizations struggle.
How to face cloud management challenges
To stay current in today’s digital environment, businesses and governments aim to accelerate their digital strategies. Cloud management empowers organizations to make the best use of their cloud resources. Whether you’re using an on-premises, hybrid or multi-cloud model, cloud management is crucial to getting the most from your cloud investment.
Assign team members or departments to each cloud service and keep them accountable for budget reporting. This allows for each service to have custom spend tracking instead of an all-inclusive spending report that takes hours to run through. Breaking down pricing enables proactive budget reporting and accountability. Once an organization tracks spending, they can use the data to understand trends and project expected cost needs.
Due to complex pricing methods, monitoring unnecessary costs can be overwhelming. Instead, allow for automated processes to track pricing and services. This enables organizations to eliminate unnecessary services or resources.
Why cloud management and what are the benefits?
There are numerous benefits to cloud management including security, flexibility, scalability and cost savings. Through cloud management, you gain improved control over your cloud resources, enable seamless, secure integration with other systems and can scale computing resources up or down based on demand.
In addition, many cloud management platforms have reporting dashboards that provide analytics across the cloud environment. These analytics offer business insights to help IT leaders make informed decisions. A few benefits of cloud optimization platforms are:
- Security: As organizations transition cloud data, either from on-premise or private cloud, security is top of mind. Security management oversees and analyzes threats to an organization’s cloud. Security software helps identify what information to store in a public or private cloud based on sensitivity. Cloud managers have the responsibility to keep an organization’s information safe and implement preventative safeguards.
- Flexibility: Dashboard data can be utilized to analyze performance and determine a best-fit resource. This gives organizations the flexibility to not only scale up or down but right-size. Based on key metrics, an organization can right-size its cloud computing environment to maximum efficiency that lessens the cost of services.
- Cost savings: Cloud management services allow for organizations to customize their service offerings. Organizations can save money by not paying for services they don’t need. An effective cloud management team should save an organization time and labor costs.
Hybrid, multi-cloud management
A multi-cloud model involves using two or more public cloud services, while a hybrid cloud model includes private and public cloud resources. As you can imagine, cloud management becomes even more important in hybrid and multi-cloud environments. In some industries, regulatory compliance requirements add complexity to managing hybrid clouds. For example, some regulations require certain data to be housed only in private cloud resources versus in the public cloud.
However, it is vital to keep up with changing regulations because having a multi or hybrid cloud enables an organization to have a faster time to market while decreasing risk. Multi-cloud can increase efficiency, manage, and monitor its environment through private, public, and hybrid clouds.
Read more about how Unisys approaches Cloud Management.