Multicloud environments tend to grow organically, less by design and more because organizations spin up resources quickly to meet specific needs without an overarching strategy. When this happens, governance may fall by the wayside. Business and IT leaders generally know they’ve reached this point because they’ll start to see three types of issues.
First, many organizations experience cost increases, usually because they have overprovisioned or idle resources. Second, the presence of poor security controls or the lack of security visibility may raise a red flag. Third, it becomes apparent in other ways that the multicloud environment lacks cohesive, intentional management.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to impose structure and controls where they belong. In fact, there will always be a need to periodically take stock of cloud environments to make sure they align with an organization’s current needs.
A Multicloud Strategy Ensures That Key Concerns Are Addressed
Containing costs and protecting data are two of the primary reasons to develop a governance plan for multicloud resources. Just as it’s easy to increase costs unintentionally, organizations may greatly expand their security risks without being aware of it.
Another reason to develop a holistic strategy is to address application dependencies. Different providers may have particular requirements or ways of looking at application architecture, which can pose issues when moving between clouds. Before moving major workloads to the cloud, it’s crucial to plan how to rearchitect or rehost applications.
Guide and Govern with a Cloud Center of Excellence
A cloud center of excellence provides comprehensive guidance for the development of cloud environments. This should include members from development, operations, security, networking and other stakeholder areas, all working as a cross-functional team. Technical visibility across cloud and development landscapes is essential.
The CCOE works to manage risks related to cost and security, optimize the cloud environment and ensure that deployments align with organizational goals. Overall, it focuses on building best practices that balance agility and control. These ground rules then inform the work that operational teams carry out day to day.
Plan for Continuous Monitoring of Multicloud Environments
The major cloud providers are constantly developing new features, services and capabilities. There will always be an opportunity to rearchitect or make other changes. The challenge is to take advantage of what each provider brings to the table, especially in ways that add value to the business without introducing unwanted disruptions.
Because of these ongoing improvements, there will always be a need to optimize resources and reassess security. The work of strategy and governance, led by the cloud center of excellence, should be built into processes to ensure they are continuously addressed.
Organizations may also leverage technology solutions to facilitate monitoring and security, particularly for cloud configuration management. These can be extremely useful given the cloud’s realities: easy to spin up, yet complex to manage.
Stepping back to build a multicloud strategy provides a roadmap to ensure the organization arrives where it wants to go without incurring unnecessary risk.