Many of us take this time of the year to sort through all that we’ve accumulated and get rid of the things we no longer need or want. We might drop off clothes at Goodwill or the Salvation Army, participate in a local flea market, or host our own garage or yard sale. The idea is to prioritize what is important to us and shed those things that no longer spark joy, as decluttering expert Marie Kondo might say. Her KonMari method can be applied not just for cluttered homes but cluttered IT environments as well.
Let’s consider IT spring cleaning for hybrid and multi-cloud initiatives. Examine the IT projects that are underway in an organization and how are they improving the overall satisfaction for the end users who consume those resources.
IT Projects to Consider
A couple of weeks ago, we had an analyst Jason “JE” English from Intellyx reminisce about the number of devices, remotes, and wiring required for most entertainment centers and how connecting them used to be quite difficult. This same kind of complexity is a challenge for most modern IT initiatives that involve hybrid cloud resources.
There’s a sprawl of cloud technologies and integration/orchestration tools that must be managed that can end up like those entertainment centers if we aren’t careful. Any cloud initiative will require access to on-premises and public cloud resources. There can be multiple connections to all the big cloud providers, such as AWS, MS Azure, and GCP. Each one has different console access and associated complexity that must be managed. Then there’s the connection to on-premises resources like VMware vCenter or Nutanix Acropolis.
Luckily, many of us now have just one remote with all the technology connected in one place in a smart TV. Regarding CloudBolt, Jason featured CloudBolt in his Brain Candy Brief as one of the ways to address the complexity here.
Controlling and Managing Costs
With the fast-moving nature of digital business, IT projects and resources might spin up quickly to meet new demand. These new demands might include infrastructure resources that are initially turned on and then, in some cases, forgotten. It’s more important to get things started and to market fast while considering controlling costs later on. When the IT bills, particularly cloud spending budgets, begin to soar, a renewed interest in managing costs can be exactly what is needed to maintain the full lifecycle of resources.
Being able to throttle usage based on the demand and even turn on or off resources depending on when they are needed can have a huge impact on spending. You’ll also want to expire resources when they are no longer needed. In many cases, an enterprise-wide initiative to control costs based on a framework that everyone has access to can really have a huge impact.
Another aspect of controlling and managing costs is the visibility into which groups are consuming what resources and from where. IT can align budgets with business value with this in mind. The first step is the visibility and then the second step is the reporting back of the actual spending into what IT calls a “chargeback,” “showback,” or even “shameback” accounting of resources by business group.
Improving IT Policies and Procedures
Improving anything in an IT shop involves reducing the manual steps or manual intervention of any kind. Any time you introduce or maintain a manual process, the resulting workflow is most likely more tedious as well as prone to errors. Eliminating these steps requires orchestration, automation, and often a little upfront planning and consideration.
Sometimes, just having a project in a manual approval process can slow things down. Whoever is responsible for issuing approvals can be swamped with so many other tasks so that the approval process is a bottleneck in the IT provisioning process. Being able to identify the criteria that automatically guarantees that a resource will be approved and then implemented can speed up the process. For example, part of the approval process could be that an expiration date is set to ensure tasks are completed on time.
Improvements in orchestration processes can include pre-installing security configurations as well as commonly used applications for certain infrastructure. By identifying the repetitive tasks required to provision sets of resources and then automating them will improve procedures and eliminate manual steps that slow things down and introduce errors.
Driving Sensible Cloud Adoption
During a spring cleaning initiative, it’s imperative to be well-informed about what cloud resources are available and be able to test them in certain environments before exposing them to a lot of users. Being able to quickly connect and try out resources will make it easier to drive sensible cloud adoption after an evaluation period.
When IT partners with the DevOps, security, and application teams in an organization there will be less of a chance for some groups going out on their own and possibly running with some cloud-native resources that end up being less ideal over time. It’s important to have the big picture in mind.
David Linthicum, as a thought leader who contributes regularly to well-known publications that support hybrid cloud initiatives, states, “I have a feeling that in five to ten years, I’ll be consulting for enterprises trying to undo a naive move to a cloud-native policy.” Check out his post here.
CloudBolt and Hybrid Cloud Spring Cleaning
CloudBolt can help with all aspects of managing hybrid and multi-cloud initiatives. Being able to address consolidation and cost control, improve processes, and enable better cloud adoption strategies will certainly have an impact on any IT projects underway this time of year.