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Jonathan Bridges: Key steps and considerations for building a solid cloud management strategy to enable business growth

Written by Jonathan Bridges, Chief Innovation Officer, Exponential-e

Cloud management isn’t straightforward. It comprises a range of technical tasks. These include managing databases and servers, compliance and security and deploying applications. This can be challenging and time-consuming, and most businesses will benefit from adopting a holistic strategy to manage this complexity.

Aligning to overall business goals

However, first things first. Any cloud management strategy must be built around a business’ key objectives to be successful. That means assessing the business’ wider ambitions and its digital transformation goals, and then envisaging how cloud helps fulfil them. Often this exercise will require IT teams to map out exactly how they use each of their multiple cloud environments, so they have a clear path both to achieving these objectives, and seamlessly managing and optimising workload delivery.

Bringing third party expertise on board

This is where the support of a cloud management provider can be highly beneficial. They have the specific expertise to fill any gaps in skills or knowledge that may be present in-house. This means they can help with tasks such as improving cost optimisation, maximising performance and evolving the organisation’s cloud strategy in line with market and business fluctuations. Crucially, a trusted technology partner can also automate optimisation across multiple clouds, and advise on future strategic decisions that might determine how the cloud supports the overall performance of the business.

Another benefit of a cloud management partner is that they will advise and support you through any migration processes. A lot of businesses considering cloud strategies have cumbersome legacy systems in place, and it’s rarely advisable to “lift and shift” everything in one go. For example, if data has to be hosted in a specific place for compliance purposes. This is one of the reasons why hybrid cloud strategies are becoming so popular, as infrastructure can be migrated in a phased way, mitigating a lot of these concerns, and avoiding any disruption to BAU.

Making the most of technology

Cloud Management Platforms (CMPs) are best for ensuring true integration and optimisation. A CMP is a suite of software tools that supports the management of businesses’ entire cloud estates through a single screen. This can be especially useful if your cloud footprint consists of a mixture of private and public cloud services. A CMP allows lines of business and IT teams to collectively analyse the productivity and usage of each of the company’s clouds, ensuring that it delivers on its potential.

Ensuring you get the most from your cloud environment

While complex, a cloud management strategy doesn’t have to be cumbersome or difficult to implement. Opting for third-party expertise and a high-quality management platform helps maintain a smooth journey to enjoying the countless benefits of cloud.