Four cloud optimization best practices Posted on August 23, 2018 by Tim Burke Just as your embrace of cloud computing has been unique, so will the approach you take to optimizing your cloud(s). Inevitably, you’ll face the sheer complexity of emerging IT technologies as well as decisions about productively and cost-efficiently deploying and managing those technologies, and about choosing from among an ever-growing range of cloud provider options and pricing models. Here are four best practices to help you deal with it all: 1 Hone a cloud optimization strategy Without an overarching cloud optimization strategy, you’re at risk of losing control in the face of a series of tactical challenges. Chief among these are… Keeping a handle on burgeoning cloud costs, which includes ensuring your ability to report and charge these costs back to your organization’s lines of business/departments/teams as well as establishing and monitoring cloud ROI metrics. Optimizing your cloud(s) as your use scales up — which involves decisions about integration, migrating workloads, and, particularly looking forward, what applications should be made cloud-native and/or serverless. 2 Put security first How much shadow IT — that is, cloud services procured by business units without input from IT staff — lurks in your enterprise? Shadow IT is shadow security risk. As your use of cloud(s) matures and you go about optimizing your cloud resources, you’ll put the business at risk right now if you don’t put security first. 3 Look ahead Transitioning from legacy systems to multi-cloud models (as most organizations are doing) presents complex challenges, especially as you also anticipate how your business will deploy mobility technologies, the Internet of Things, and big data analytics. Unless you have deep cloud skills, seek out an experienced, vendor-neutral cloud provider/technology consultant able to aid you in assessing your current IT environment alongside your business goals. This will help you determine what to migrate, what to integrate, what to make cloud-native and/or serverless, how to modify workflows, and which multi-cloud models best suit your business. 4 Choose your cloud providers carefully How many cloud providers does your enterprise use? Make sure each one can deliver all the capabilities necessary in an enterprise IT environment, including the ability to: Flexibly scale required cloud resources at levels of availability, reliability, and security that meet or exceed customers’ performance needs and risk tolerance; Monitor, manage, and orchestrate workloads from a single console across the entire environment; Integrate cloud solutions with managed services and customers’ on-premises systems; Provide application development and testing services to help you generate the cloud-native apps you need; Customize all services; Offer transparency in pricing and service levels, including customizable service level agreements; Ensure high service quality and responsive customer support; and Partner with customers in long-term relationships.