Why simplicity is the ultimate weapon in ITs never-ending battle to do more with less 

What is the main problem with IT today? The answer is… “not enough”: 

  • Not fast enough 
  • Not enough visibility 
  • Not enough security 
  • Not enough automation 

Life was a lot more straightforward back in the on-prem days. Infrastructure usage was controlled so it was predictable, easily budgeted, tracked, and secured but it was also complex. As a result, it wasn’t fast. Fast infrastructure came with the cloud and then multi-cloud, but decentralized provisioning brought an even more insidious kind of complexity. 

Everyone raced to the cloud and praised speed and agility until they realized that they had lost the ability to accurately and/or completely see, track, or report on infrastructure and cloud usage (especially across multiple cloud service providers). They could not automate steps because there were now too many tools or different ways these CSPs accomplish and report, which has required IT teams to try to become experts in everything: AWS, Azure, GCP, Terraform, Ansible, Kubernetes, Storage, Networking, etc. Ungoverned access can lead to a breach caused by misconfigured workload(s) or inconsistently applied security practices, and potentially HUGE monthly bills without accountability or attributions. Not to mention how overall complexity grows every time the next cool tool comes along (as it invariably does).  

For many companies, the “answer” is to deploy tools like Terraform as a panacea meant to improve provisioning; cost management & optimization solutions to help better visualize spending and understand trends; and finally, a self-service automation “solution” that serves up what users want on demand (no incentive for shadow IT).  

But unless you choose wisely, even the so-called solutions can end up adding to the complexity and frustrations. Alerts and recommendation lists are often incomplete and do not help with the prioritization of issues which often forces problems to be addressed natively (and that inevitably takes longer and requires expertise). Holistic cloud cost reporting still often requires manual work and is riddled with inaccuracies. Often the quick and easy answer is to spin up more resources when a better, cheaper alternative is available but unknown. 

At the end of the day, almost everyone understands there is a very real problem with solving multi-cloud complexity. They just aren’t sure what to do about it.  

Some recommendations when seeking and evaluating solutions designed to crush cloud complexity: 

  • You can only track what you know and tag – Cost Management Only As Good As Your Cloud Management 
  • “Can’t have one without the other…” – Cloud & Cost Management TOGETHER 
  • Multi-cloud visibility is fuzzy – Get the picture you want 
  • Automate & Orchestrate for higher levels of security and efficiency 

For further exploration, read Part 2 here


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