"There is no alternative to digital transformation. Visionary companies will carve out new strategic options for themselves—those that don’t adapt, will fail."
Across all industries, no matter which one you are in, the fierce pace of technology means that you are competing on a new playing field. You’re now in a realm in which companies that have adapted to a digital transformation mindset are thriving.
These organizations are rapidly altering the way their companies are run and how they interact with their customers. These businesses are creating a data-first game plan that’s enabled by cloud-centric technology and a cloud-first culture.
It goes without saying that cloud computing has become an essential component in the success of any business. But with all the benefits the Cloud brings come an array of challenges that are inescapable.
The good news is that these challenges are not only doable but meeting them head-on opens up a new world of possibilities for your business.
The reality is that the landscape of cloud management has changed quite dramatically. And the companies that reap the amazing benefits the Cloud brings are taking a completely new approach to the way their cloud resources are managed.
Cloud advantages Bring Cloud Challenges
With cloud computing’s continued upward trajectory, managers in charge of cloud infrastructure are faced with a multitude of tasks — cost management, governance, security, and more.
Meaning that a modern approach to managing your new cloud resources is essential if you want to ensure that your company continues to evolve.
You can’t rely on the same solutions that you used on-premises. You need to move away from traditional processes, and instead unlock and deploy the phenomenal power of the Cloud and your data.
Managed Cloud will get you there thanks to its primary advantages — data can be managed on-demand, you can get applications to market quickly, and scale up or down to meet your needs.
This translates to companies that can break new ground – to innovate with less risk and bring products to market faster
A new approach to managing these resources will bring you to a place where challenges transform into a new world of possibility.
You want your cloud management challenges to turn into a new world of opportunity. For you, this probably means increased levels of security, resiliency, automation, as well as powerful governance and monitoring for operational insights and rich intelligence.
Working with a managed services provider can help you get there and more.
Modern Managed Services to the Rescue
To say that managed services have changed would be a major understatement. The Cloud has transformed (no, revolutionized) the way that managed services providers work with customers.
A traditional managed services model is more like an outsourced contract, which involves owning and managing a huge amount of capital requirement for a company’s infrastructure. Contracts designed to manage the risk of deploying new capital in those environments.
The Cloud has drastically changed the economics of this relationship. Thanks to the Cloud, there is no longer a need for a large amount of capital to deploy the infrastructure.
Instead, a company’s focus can shift to mitigating competitive risk by providing improved responsiveness, improved speed, and innovation for clients.
This allows a company’s scarce human capital to focus on data and applications, not the maintenance and operation of infrastructure.
The new world of comprehensive managed services will help you pinpoint opportunities and see danger in the road ahead. This enables companies to sharpen their agility and continue their digital transformation into the Cloud.
"Comprehensive Managed Services — to help you identify your opportunities and risks — is how you continue your digital transformation into the Cloud."
Modern managed services will help your company
- Align people, process, and technology and take advantage of what the Cloud offers.
- Combine organizational agility (lean and agile teams) and technical agility (the ability to change infrastructure, data, and processes quickly) to move faster, better, and smarter.
- Leverage streamlined teams and processes to focus on what it does best — a shift that will move your company closer to becoming an industry disruptor.
Combining Organizational Agility and Technical Agility enables organizations to reach the upper-right quadrant, becoming industry disruptors. Comprehensive Managed Services, which help identify opportunities and risks, enables companies to continue their digital transformation into the Cloud.
Your Cloud Challenges (in detail)
If you’ve moved to the Cloud, what does your cloud management world look like?
Take a look at the challenges listed below. Do any of them sound familiar?
Monitoring & Automation
- Unmaintainable code and silos of automation
- Inconsistent monitoring approach for IaaS, PaaS, and Containers
- Lack of full-stack monitoring and visibility
- Inconsistent manual configuration
- Lack of security built into the development process
- Complex, manual change management processes
- Challenges finding a balance between speed and control
- Lack of policy to enforce audit rules to ensure compliance
- Diverse set of practices across business units
Management & Optimization
- Tools used inconsistently across the organization
- Difficult to understand why spend is increasing
- Challenges gathering and analyzing data to support better insight and improve outcomes
- Feeling of less control and more risk
Working in the Cloud is essential to keeping your business current, but the bullet points above clearly demonstrate that you can’t just implement the Cloud and leave it alone.
It requires constant management to ensure that you’re not missing anything, whether that’s installing the latest updates or addressing potential security concerns.
Here are some of the primary challenges associated with cloud management:
- Its rapid pace of change: How do you keep up to date with the constantly changing Cloud?
- Service management: How will you transform your IT operations to support the dynamic nature of the Cloud?
- Effectively managing cost: You need to avoid potentially costly cloud sprawl with careful cost management.
- Governance: Governing the usage of the Cloud and its resources is essential.
In addition, there are several major customer trends driving new cloud management and security needs:
- Modernization: Spend is reduced with application and cloud modernization.
- Scale: Increased cloud adoption is driving the need to be better organized and governed.
- Security: The Cloud is now perceived as an asset in fighting evolving threats.
- Transformation: IT is transforming to play a more strategic role.
How Can You Overcome These Challenges?
How can you meet these challenges head-on? To optimize and truly take advantage of the power of Cloud?
Let’s dive into each challenge individually to help you understand how a cloud management partner can help you…
Challenge #1: The Pace of Change (And the Power of Azure)
Deciding which cloud service provider to work with is not an easy choice. You know the big players — Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure.
Comparing and then choosing the right provider really depends on your organization’s needs.
But with all three, keeping up with the pace of change is always going to be a major organizational challenge.
Today, our focus is on Azure, because we know it as well as any provider out there and always work to help our clients keep up and take advantage of its rapidly evolving toolset.
“Innovative” is the perfect descriptor of Azure. Its pace of innovation is faster than ever. Every year, Azure’s services get deeper and wider — new functionality and enhancements are being released continually.
Azure Innovation By the Numbers
118: Azure Updates increased 118% in 2018 versus 2017 (up to 819 from 375)
140: There were 140 important product announcements and roadmap updates at Microsoft Ignite 2018, Microsoft’s Annual Tech Conference
161: There are 161 unique Azure services — and they’re still being joined by more!
Solution #1: Leverage Managed Services to Keep up with Azure
Change and innovation make Azure more powerful, but it also increases Azure’s complexity. Inexperience with these advances can lead to misconfigurations, not to mention potentially costly errors.
If your teams are struggling to keep up with Azure’s updates and new functionality, maybe it’s time to leverage managed services to mitigate your company’s risk.
You don’t have to be solely responsible for keeping up with Azure’s increasing innovation. In fact, a good managed services provider will basically become an extension of your team, giving your company greater flexibility, more time, and more access to internal resources.
Truly leveraging the power of managed services is how you innovate and fuel growth.
"Technologies will come and go, so you need to be able to both ask and answer the question: What do you do as a company, why do you exist?"
Challenge #2: Service Management
As you move to the Cloud in an effort to obtain greater innovation, increased agility, and decreased costs, Service Management must digitally transform as well.
For IT to be a success, it must remove its self-imposed barriers and support business success through digital transformation.
Cloud-based systems enable companies to remove silos, improve service by better understanding customers, and increase efficiency through automation, as well as employ effective knowledge management.
If you’re moving your workloads to the Cloud you have several choices when making that move: Extend your current processes, procedures, and manual efforts into the Cloud or modernize and completely change the game.
Being a game-changer means leveraging “cloud-born” approaches, controls, tools, capabilities, and services that are simply not available or even feasible on-premises.
Solution #2: Take Advantage of Managed Services to help with Service Management
How can you be a game-changer? Realize that Modern Service Management is essential and move to make that change.
By undergoing digital transformation and, by extension, modernizing service management, IT transforms itself from a cost center to a value center.
Microsoft Services came up with a perspective it calls Modern Service Management: “A lens intended to focus service management experts, around the globe, on the most important outcomes that evolve our customers from legacy, traditional IT models to an easier, more efficient, cost effective, and agile service structure.”
Service management isn’t an add-on — it’s a built-in part of our managed services model.
"The IT organization and the CIO are at center stage in creating a solid foundation for digital business at scale — which demands better consumer engagement, faster delivery of digital ‘products,’ and a secure information and technology foundation to build them on."Andy Rowsell-Jones
Distinguished Vice President Analyst, Gartner Research & Advisory Office of the CIO
Challenge #3: Cost Management
Managing cloud costs has become a big problem for many companies. These organizations are often unaware of exactly how much money they are wasting.
Truly effective cost management is one of the most significant benefits of a cloud environment, but, once there, most businesses still face the monumental task of truly managing costs. They are unable to pinpoint where waste is occurring and how to eliminate it on an ongoing basis.
Yes, moving to the Cloud is transformational, but with this transformation comes the challenge of cloud sprawl — the uncontrolled proliferation of an organization’s cloud instances, services, or providers. Cloud sprawl typically occurs when an organization lacks visibility into or control over its cloud computing resources.
Don’t worry! There are ways to combat cloud sprawl and reduce costs, including:
- Purchasing Reserved Instances (RIs) and keeping them optimized.
- Continuously identifying unused infrastructure.
- Rightsizing underutilized infrastructure.
- Turning off non-production environments when not in use.
Solution #3: Manage Cloud Use with Managed Services
The best way to mitigate cloud sprawl is to manage cloud use.
This means organizations should:
- Establish clear user policies.
- Ensure ongoing communication between business departments.
- Monitor and enforce their cloud computing policies by using cloud management tools.
A Cloud Managed Services provider should include cost management as a core part of their services.
"Cloud users are increasingly concerned about the money they might be wasting in their public cloud spending, but only a small percentage of them are doing something about it."Charles Babcock
Challenge #4: Governance
Effective cloud governance is extremely important, but many companies have not created a carefully considered approach to implementing it.
All the benefits of the Cloud, such as flexibility, lowered cost, and speed, also open up the door for security concerns. The Cloud has lowered the barrier for consuming services; this poses a significant problem for companies that shift to this model. Four of the many challenges include:
- Resource usage
- Access issues
- Data privacy
The major cloud providers offer some tools that can help you effectively manage governance, but to truly have a handle on compliance and security, you need more.
Customers, challenged with technical and organizational worries, often have a range of concerns, for example:
- Do we have embedded management and operational controls?
- Are metrics for measuring performance and risk in place?
- What are our security vulnerabilities and what is their business impact?
- Are we progressively reducing security risks to acceptable levels?
Without effective governance in a quickly changing cloud environment, you risk things getting out of control.
Solution #4: Implement Effective Governance with Managed Services
With cloud security governance, you want strategic alignment, value delivery, risk mitigation, effective use of resources, and sustained performance.
You need all of these benefits, but without cloud security governance there’s no possible way for your teams to keep up. Managed services is the answer. In fact, we place such a priority on governance, we ensured that it’s part of our Managed Services model.
"The best way to think about governance is as a series of automated guardrails, in the form of policies, that keep you from running off a curvy road."David Linthicum
Increase Your Competitive Advantage with the Power of the Cloud
Transitioning your business to the Cloud isn’t as simple as it sounds. You have to:
- Ensure that you’re staying abreast of the latest updates.
- Manage the services.
- Make sure that the related costs don’t skyrocket.
- Maintain strict governance.
This is a lot to handle for anyone, let alone someone with a lack of experience and a full plate.
Is it time to make the switch to the Cloud? If so, you need to do it right. Today’s managed services are very different than they used to be. Now, managed services bring with it a multitude of benefits, but you really need a cloud custodian to help you get the most from the Cloud. After all, Azure is powerful — but only if you understand and unleash its full capabilities.
Cloud computing is a better way to run your business. Managed services is the best way to get the most from the Cloud. Look to a managed services provider that can manage your infrastructure and provide a secure and well-managed cloud, resulting in innovation with an integrated modern platform and agile services structure.
With Azure Managed Services, you will:
- Go Faster: Understand cloud performance and usage
- Increase Security: Maintain a secure and well-managed Cloud
- Reduce Spend: Save 10-30% through cloud optimization
- Manage Risk: Prevent downtime with continuous monitoring
- Focus and Innovate: Allow internal resources to do what they do best
Vice President, Microsoft Azure Compute
"When you have the right partner by your side, I am confident you will be able to deliver your desired business outcomes and keep pace with all of the innovation that the Cloud enables."
Vice President, Microsoft Azure Compute
Harnessing the Power of the Cloud
The Cloud is waiting for your business! Are you ready to be a game-changer? To take your business to the next level? To continue to develop and offer the products or services that your clients need? To be a leader in your industry?
There’s no time like the present to get started on your digital transformation journey. It’s important to know, however, that the transition to the Cloud requires you to be proactive rather than reactive.
The Cloud presents four primary challenges:
- Its rapid pace of change: You need to stay up to date with the Cloud’s constant changes.
- Service management: You need to transform your IT operations to support the Cloud’s dynamic nature.
- Cost management: You will want to avoid potentially costly cloud sprawl.
- Governance: You will need to govern the usage of the Cloud and its resources
The challenges that the Cloud presents aren’t insurmountable, though! 10th Magnitude can help you overcome them! Are you ready? Start by getting a clean bill of health as you continue your digital transformation into the Cloud with our Azure Health Check.
About Your Azure Health Check
In order to ensure that you’re able to fully leverage the Cloud’s power for the benefit of your business, 10th Magnitude is proud to offer an Azure Health Check as you start your digital transformation journey. Your personalized Azure Health Check report will provide you with a customized view into cost and security reporting, provide infrastructure optimization recommendations, and leverage our policy engine to audit your subscriptions for security.
An Azure Health Check is broken down into 3 handy phases to make this important step easy for you!
Phase 1 – Onboarding
Discuss your environment and goals. Review your data sources and current monitoring practices. Get connected to your Azure subscriptions with read-access.
Phase 2 – Health Monitoring
Conduct a health watch and Azure consumption monitoring over 6-8 business days. Uncover trends, outlying behaviors, and overall performance.
Phase 3 – Health Check Review
Review reports, findings, and recommendations for optimizations and best practices. Our team will work with you on the best next steps and help turn insights into action.
Are You Ready to Change the Way You Do Business?
Take a minute to fill out the Azure Health Check form.
We’ll then be in touch to get started.