Complexity & The Cloud—Are You Ready?

Michelle DeFiore

The IT cloud has rolled in, and it’s fair to say, many organizations are still trying to find their way through the fog. Here at ScienceLogic, we believe it’s vital to understand how businesses are consuming IT services and infrastructure. That’s why we commissioned a survey in late 2016 to understand how modern businesses are using the cloud. We had over 1,000 responses and got some clear insight into how organizations, and the IT departments within them, are reacting to the omnipresent IT cloud. Read on to find out about the future of cloud infrastructure.

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The Rate of Moving IT Infrastructure to the Cloud is Increasing

Organizations are moving to the cloud faster than expected. 40% of our respondents said their data center footprint is shrinking, and 42% of respondents said that more than a quarter of their infrastructure needs were supplied by cloud-based services (compared to 33% a year ago).

A further 23% of respondents said that more than half of their IT infrastructure was cloud-based, up from 13% a year ago. Only 3% of everyone who responded said they didn’t expect to have any cloud-based infrastructure over the next couple of years.

In the Age of Cloud, IT Is Concerned about Job Security

The rapid pace of change is a concern to many in IT. 28% of respondents were concerned that moving infrastructure to the cloud could put their job at risk. 31% of people stated they weren’t confident they had the right skills to lead cloud deployments.

It’s not just skills that are the issue—half of respondents don’t have the right tools to strategically manage and monitor cloud deployments. Nearly 40% didn’t have enough knowledge to determine what workloads should be migrated.

Hybrid IT Services Are Going to be the Norm

Over half of respondents said that a combination of public clouds and private environments (local data centers) was how they expected to deliver IT services in two years. Another 17% believed their business would operate exclusively on public and private cloud infrastructure services. That poses a visibility challenge for monitoring cloud services—only 44% of respondents are currently monitoring public cloud performance.

Without Proper Controls, Cloud Sprawl is Going to be a Real Problem

Cloud services are normally delivered on an “as needs” basis, with providers charging businesses based on demand and how much of the service they consume. This could end up being very costly, as only 28% of respondents had processes in place to control crowd sprawl as they add new environments, machines, infrastructure, and services. That’s compounded by only 44% of users being able to verify public cloud consumption—how much the services are actually being used.

Understanding Complexity in the Cloud

The combination of rapid cloud migration, a lack of cloud-deployment skills, increasingly hybrid IT infrastructure, and weak monitoring and cost control creates big risks for enterprises and their IT functions. The ease with which IT services can be added and removed, together with ever-increasing business demands in a competitive environment, means that successful cloud infrastructure needs a disciplined, structured approach. You can achieve that in several ways.

Get Clear Policies & Processes in Place to Control the Cloud Environment

Controlling the cloud starts with giving your people, especially IT, clear policies and guidelines for cloud infrastructure. Get proper processes in place about adding and removing services, making changes, and otherwise managing cloud-based apps and infrastructure.

Use Technology to Map Out Your Cloud Environment

If you want to manage the cloud effectively, you need to understand what assets are running, where they are, and how they’re being used. Automated mapping and intelligent discovery tools like ScienceLogic provide a continually-updated view of exactly what you are and aren’t using.

Ease the Process of Cloud Migration

It’s vital to migrate your data, infrastructure, and applications in a carefully-controlled way. Make sure you can understand all the interdependencies in your IT ecosystem and that you have the right capacity, demand, incident, and problem management processes in place.

Get Powerful Monitoring in Place to Maintain Service Assurance

Once your infrastructure and IT services are in the cloud, it’s vital they perform at maximum efficiency and effectiveness. ScienceLogic’s complete cloud and on-premises monitoring solution gives you the availability, performance, and other measures you need to deliver optimized IT services, wherever they’re located.

Cloud adoption and the complexity it adds is inevitable, but with the right approach and technology, you can see through the fog and deliver reliable, cost-effective IT services.

You can learn more about our survey from our infographic. Learn what ScienceLogic’s CEO had to say about cloud adoption and the future of cloud infrastructure on IT Business Edge.

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