Cloud management – an organization’s ability to have control over their cloud environment – has become a top priority for businesses with a growing intensity. Developing an efficient enterprise cloud management strategy will take of time and resources, even so, it is likely you’ll encounter a few challenges along the way.
In order to get to the myriad of benefits cloud management brings to an organization, you have to be aware of the potential roadblocks. While other challenges might spring up, there are six common enterprise cloud management challenges to look out for.
1. Being Locked in with a Specific Vendor
One of the biggest hurdles you may face is vendor lock- in. Vendor lock-in is when an organization is unable to move to another cloud service provider without being hit with costly fees, technical problems, or legal issues.
At a certain point, vendor lock-in is unavoidable. Cloud environments are typically built around an organization’s needs, which means that switching away can be hard. While you may get to a point where it is a better choice to switch to a different vendor, understand what consequences will come with it. Being aware of how much of a hold your specific vendor has over your environment from the start will prevent jarring situations of lock-in from happening.
Multi-cloud environments can be used as a solution to vendor lock-in. And they’ve become quite popular, as well. According to ParkMyCloud, the average number of public and private clouds used by companies is now 4.8. By utilizing multiple clouds, you won’t get locked into the limitations of one specific one. While multi-cloud environments are a viable option for curing your lock-in headaches, be aware that they come with a set of challenges of their own.
2. Lack of Visibility in Multi-Cloud Environments
Organizations often find that the easiest part of a multi-cloud environment is deployment, but what happens after that? Managing everything that comes into your environment is a whole different story.
If you do not have complete visibility into your environment, you could potentially be setting yourself up for major stress later down the road. You need to have complete visibility into every user who has access to your clouds and the data within, and what applications and software are being run. It may seem exhaustive, but it is much preferred over having no record of what is happening in your multi-cloud environment. Otherwise, instances of shadow IT can easily crop up, which raises security concerns as well.
Another potential issue linked to a lack of visibility is overspend. When you don’t know what is going on within the cloud, you cannot measure what is being spent by various departments or where there is unnecessary spend on solutions that are seldom used. Take the time to sit down with your colleagues and discuss a method of tracking that not only makes sense for everyone, but is easy to carry out.
3. Overspending on Cloud Services
When it comes to building a successful enterprise cloud, an organization must lay out the proper budget. Trying to reduce cloud costs during the initial stages of your environment is not advised, as this could lead to less control over who has access and what is being deployed.
You would potentially have no idea how much money is going towards cloud resources, which means you would have no sense of how to budget or track your spend. For these reasons, financial responsibilities of the cloud absolutely have to be considered. A few tactics you could get started on include:
4. Keeping the Cloud Secure
Your organization has to be vigilant when ensuring that every aspect of your cloud or multi-cloud environment is continuously secure. An area that organizations typically struggle with in this regard, however, is how vast the cloud can be. Organizations have to provide the same security controls in the cloud environemt that they did for their legacy, datacenter environment. A helpful way to tackle this is by staying aware of and understanding the shared responsibility model. This model is used by many cloud service providers, and means that they will be the one to handle the security of the underlying cloud infrastructure, while the customer is responsible for keeping everything secure within the cloud.
So, where the cloud provider provides the first layer of security, the customer must provide the second. The challenge here is that customers must know what is required by each individual cloud provider, so that they can properly secure data across their various clouds.
5. Lack of Standardization of Resource Tagging
A pitfall that many often fall into is not properly tagging resources. A clear and concise standard needs to be put in place so that every resource put into the cloud is discoverable on demand.
Consider adding tagging capabilities to the infrastructure of your cloud environment to avoid any confusion. Tagging capabilities give each user the ability to label resources consistently across all platforms. This allows for greater visibility into assets within the cloud, which will become beneficial for tracking costs, consumption, and overall spend.
6. Limitations on Cloud Reporting Structure
Organizations tend to receive reporting metrics from multiple cloud providers. This can be challenging when not only trying to correlate between each of these providers, but with the organizational reporting structure itself. This imposes limitations on your cloud reporting structure, which means you won’t be able to reap the benefits of greater flexibility, quicker deployments, and more control.
A solution such as SoftwareONE’s PyraCloud can help to centralize and organize these reporting structures to streamline the process. PyraCloud can be used to help organizations govern software contracts, procure efficiently, reduce risks, track resources, and establish budgets. Organizing your cloud reporting structures with a platform such as this will prevent you from becoming tangled up when metrics come in.
Working Through the Hurdles
With cloud management comes many challenges to work through. Every organization is simply doing their best and building their environments based on trial and error. As long as you stay ahead with a cloud management tool that enhances visibility into consumption and spend, you will learn the best way to perfect your own enterprise cloud management strategy.