Taming the IT Cloud Sprawl Monster

Five Ways to Save Your IT Budget
Michelle DeFiore

If you’ve looked at an ancient map, you’ll see the cartographers of old left enormous swathes of uncharted territory. In those large, blank spaces they would write a word of warning about the dangers of these unknown places. Although we’re much better at mapping the physical world, uncharted territory still remains. Except now it’s moved online.

The pioneers and explorers are now IT technicians, architects, analysts, and the people responsible for keeping your business moving forward. As more of your IT infrastructure moves into the cloud, how can you explore those dark corners to find the resources cloud sprawl is consuming?

The Ubiquitous Nature of IT Cloud Services

The issue with cloud sprawl comes from a simple foundation—adding new services are fast, cheap, and easy. Cloud services promote consumption. Any time you need a new database instance, or a testing environment, you spin one up and get going. Without policies and procedures for commissioning and decommissioning, you end up with cloud infrastructure you are paying for but not actually using.

This problem will only get worse over time. Gartner estimates that by 2020, cloud services will have an impact on more than one trillion dollars in IT spending. IDC also weighed in on the topic, forecasting that spending on cloud services will nearly equal what is spent on “traditional” IT by 2020. In other words, if you want to get cloud sprawl under control, you need to start now.

There are five key competencies that help tame cloud sprawl in today’s IT environment.

Competency 1: Discover Your Entire Cloud Infrastructure

You can only deal with cloud sprawl and shut down unused instances if you know where to find them. When you have multiple cloud assets from different providers and many employees with the power to spin up new instances, manual mapping isn’t enough. Ideally, you want a discovery platform that tracks, reports on, and maps your IT infrastructure.

Competency 2: Map Interdependencies and Understand Touchpoints

No IT system or infrastructure works in isolation. It’s vital to understand how infrastructure interfaces with your databases, middleware, environments, applications, and more. After all, you don’t want to remove an instance only to find out it was part of a mission-critical application.

Competency 3: Monitor Cloud Performance and Trends

Discovery and mapping gives you a snapshot of what’s happening right now, but that’s only part of the picture. As you consume resources and use services, you want to know how it impacts the rest of your business in order to meet current demands and plan for future needs.

Competency 4: Tag and Track Your IT Assets

With the ease of spinning up, changing, and decommissioning cloud assets, it’s important to track what is going on and where. One of the most powerful ways to do this is through asset tagging by functionality, configuration, business department, and platform.

Competency 5: Organize Your Team Properly

When it comes to the virtual world, the decentralization of IT services means a siloed approach doesn’t work anymore. Teams need to work together in a cross-functional manner. Restrictions such as “desktop,” “security,” or “network” specialists hinder efficiency. Being agile isn’t a project mindset anymore, it’s at the core of how modern tech businesses operate.

Prepare for Your Next Journey into Uncharted Territory

Here at ScienceLogic, we provide the platform you need to succeed. Whether that’s through our best-in-class IT mapping and reporting functionality, our multitude of integration options, our training, or our thought leadership, we’re here to help you do IT better.

Read this white paper to learn more about these competencies and how to implement them at your organization.

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