Many organizations migrate resources to the public cloud in part because they want to reduce their IT management burdens. By minimizing the footprint of their on-premises infrastructure, they hope to direct their internal IT staff away from routine maintenance and support tasks and toward more strategic projects that create value for the business.

So, it often comes as an unwelcome surprise when the cloud presents its own management challenges. Costs may be higher than expected, and data center administrators may find themselves ill equipped to solve new problems related to workload placement or sizing. Plus, preparing a hybrid cloud environment for innovative future use cases often feels like murky territory.

This is where CDW Consulting Services can bring fresh eyes and deep expertise to help organizations solve and prevent problems, streamline management and optimize their hybrid cloud environments.

The Value of Cost Optimization

It’s all too common for organizations managing their own cloud migrations to be shocked when the bill arrives. Part of the problem may be data center administrators taking the phrase “lift and shift” too literally, replicating their on-premises resources in the public cloud in their entirety. In reality, of course, it’s likely the on-premises infrastructure was drastically underutilized. By replacing those resources in the cloud on a like-for-like basis, organizations are paying for infrastructure they don’t need. CDW can help organizations properly rightsize cloud resources before they’re migrated.

Organizations also frequently overspend when they lose track of which resources they have running in the cloud. It’s easy to spin up virtual machines, complete a project, forget to shut down the cloud servers and then face a hefty bill for leaving the unused resources running. We help administrators to set up user account profiles and accurately tag assets, so it’s clear who spun up which cloud resources and what those resources are being used for. Without these steps, it’s impossible to bill user groups and business units accurately for the cloud resources they consume, and costs can quickly spin out of control.

Managing Your Evolving Cloud Environment

Cloud workloads are dynamic. Even if an organization gets its workload placement and sizing right during migration, demands can change quickly, and it may make sense after six or 12 months to look at shifting resources. For example, a workload currently running in an Infrastructure as a Service cloud setting may be a better fit for Platform as a Service or a serverless environment. Or, organizations may make the leap from hybrid cloud to multicloud, placing different workloads with different public cloud hyperscalers.

Moving Beyond Operations Toward Innovation

Organizations shouldn’t use the cloud merely as a setting to replicate their existing environments. They should also seek to leverage the public cloud for innovative processes, applications and architectures. For example, we see numerous organizations take advantage of containers, which don’t need a guest operating system and are, therefore, more efficient and much easier to move from one environment to another compared with typical applications.

Further, as machine learning and artificial intelligence become more prevalent in cloud applications, many organizations will need to rely on outside help to take full advantage of these emerging technologies.

Winning New Business

We recently worked with a company that was bidding on a federal contract and needed us to help ensure appropriate compliance for the organization’s IT infrastructure, including its cloud resources. The organization didn’t have the internal expertise or capabilities to manage this compliance itself, but a partnership with CDW Consulting Services helped the company achieve compliance in line with the contract’s guidelines.

After a cloud migration, most companies find that the public cloud is more of a journey than a destination, and many find that a helpful guide can get them where they want to go more quickly, with fewer bumps along the way. We work with customers to make sure their cloud environments evolve in a way that makes sense for them.

Want to learn more about how CDW’s cloud solutions and services can position your organization for growth? Visit CDW.com/Cloud.

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