Last week, we published the second blog in this series, “Overcoming the Top 10 Multicloud Challenges.” We looked at 10 things organizations have dealt with, as well as misconceptions that exist surrounding multicloud. This week we are looking at seven tips all IT professionals should take advantage of to truly experience multicloud success.
1. Meet current service-level agreements (SLAs)
Even when transforming IT practices and strategies, it is important to keep in mind the preexisting plan in place and meet those requirements outlined in service level agreements (SLAs). Organizations can forget about or become careless with former IT practices before becoming familiar and comfortable with a new IT strategy. This can be disastrous. 80 to 99 percent of current IT budgets are dedicated to keeping the lights on, which shows a reluctance to modernize. Even though it is smart to have a firm understanding of new practices, making those switches and taking those steps towards digital transformation should enable organizations to replace some of their prior capabilities with more efficient processes.
2. Fix performance and availability issues
In a survey conducted by Oxford Economics and Nimble Storage, almost half of employees said they lose more than 10 percent of their workdays — about 48 minutes — just waiting for software to load. Younger generations are also more unmotivated than any other generation by slowly-loading applications. Many of these individuals will stop using the application altogether, deeming it a waste of time.
Staying on top of application run time and any delays or other concerns is important. If trends exist showing that applications are taking longer and longer to load, it may be a sign that multicloud offerings are needed more than ever. The hope is, however, that organizations are able to predict and properly plan for this type of problem before it ever occurs.
3. Be prepared for today and tomorrow
It is a challenging request for many organizations to make changes to an existing data center to make it efficiently able to deal with the changing landscape and needs of IT of the future, especially when the future has so many unknowns and questions. A more sophisticated and gradual approach to preparing for the data center of today and tomorrow is to think about the current challenges faced with the traditional data center. This leads into discussions surrounding if these problems have always existed or if IT modernization created problems with the traditional ways IT operated from. These ideas, mixed in with understanding the trends, can help to predict what problems may lay ahead. This way, instead of being given a list of apps to on-board, there is a team-wide understanding of the current state of the data center, as well as what the future of cloud computing holds. This enables organizations to properly prepare for what lays ahead in a multicloud world.
4. Manage IT costs
Organizations work hard and plan extensively for what falls under CapEx and OpEx. Cloud computing adds a challenging twist to this situation. Understanding the pros and cons of cloud capabilities can make managing IT costs much simpler. For instance, cloud-based object storage is an increasingly attractive option for reducing costs because it provides OpEx efficiency. In a perfect world, there will be no shock fees, black box penalties, data egress charges, unexpected downtime, or vendor lock-in. This can be attained with a proper strategy for managing IT costs. Multicloud storage models enable organizations to only pay for what is needed and used. This saves significant IT spend in unused storage and unnecessary features that go unused.
5. Take advantage of predictive analytics
Multicloud models are designed with the innovations predicative analytics created in mind. With predictive analytics, most problems can be sensed before they grow too large to control. In many instances, these problems can also be solved automatically.
It is common for organizations to think that adding more flash-arrays can solve these problems, but 54% of application performance issues reside elsewhere, such as with storage, networks, servers, and the software in general. Utilizing a multicloud strategy checks all the boxes necessary to ensure problems in any of these locations are detected and resolved both quickly and before they get out of hand.
6. Anticipate future needs
Did you know that analytics solutions can accurately forecast capacity, performance, and bandwidth needs based on historical data? It can then compare this data to find patterns across the entire network. This is a strong step forward in digital transformation. Sure, analytics tools can be purchased and used through a third-party source, but planning to stay ahead of future needs shouldn’t have a cost associated with it. Many multicloud service providers have built in analytics capabilities for no additional cost that enable an organization to anticipate future resource needs.
7. Take advantage of visibility
In the same sense that third-party sources can provide analytics and predictive modeling capabilities, they can also provide network visibility tools. Keep in mind that with third-party sources, increases in visibility efficiency has rising costs associated with it. Fortunately, multicloud service providers are aware of this added cost, and find ways to add it in for no additional expense. Having this capability is only step one of a strategic multicloud security strategy. Step two is to take advantage of this full visibility and feel in control and at peace with what is going on in the background. Keep in mind though, that going from a lower level of visibility to full visibility can be incredibly overwhelming, so try to adapt with an optimistic mindset that any and all unwanted activity can be quickly located.
Data center modernization and digital transformation brings a lot of stigmas along with it. The very ideas create excitement about cloud computing, but then create equally as much concern over dropping a current strategy to begin a cloud-first way of life. Fortunately, talking to a trusted IT technology partner like WEI that focuses on custom IT solutions can help to talk through some of the excitement and concerns that come along with data center modernization.
As a closing thought, please do not try to jump into cloud all at once without a proper understanding and plan in place. Hybrid IT might be the best fit strategy to begin climbing to a multicloud world. Learn more about Hybrid IT and the ease of integration it provides by reading our white paper, “An Introduction to the New IT Approach Called Hybrid IT.”