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Embotics Cloud Management Blog

The 10 Signs that you are ready to invest in a Cloud Management Platform - Part 1


Cloud management is a process just as critical as more traditional business operations. But few organizations have the time or expertise to build a cloud management program that meets today’s needs—and will be ready for whatever the future holds.

 When confronted with cloud management challenges, many organizations operate on a reactive basis—developing ad hoc solutions to specific problems as they arise. And because of this, many IT cloud management programs are rife with dupli­cate capabilities, non-standard approaches, process inefficien­cies, and the creation of a shadow IT organization.

In this three part series, we will show you the top ten signs that let you know you’re ready to start investing in a Cloud Management Platform to get your IT strategy and program back on track.


Sign #1 - Deploying a workload takes days or weeks

Typically manifests itself when end-users start complaining to IT that they are too slow in responding to requests for IT to deploy workloads, infrastructure or virtual machines. Gartners research shows that the majority of organizations take days to weeks to deploy new workloads. In all the years that Embotics have been in business, we have seen a lot of companies where it can take months, which from an end-user perspective is an awfully long time compared to what could be provisioned through a public cloud.

Some of the reasons why it can take an IT organization so long to provision workloads, in a lot of cases, comes down to the number of silos that exist in an organization, that can delay requests to put something online. For example, you could be waiting on the network team to provide an IP address for a new system.

“ The goal for deploying new workloads should be minutes or at most hours. ”

Another culprit that can cause delays is treating every request as a one-off, instead of defining a standardized set of services.

The goal for deploying new workloads should be minutes or at most hours. We live a world where business agility is a key competitive differentiator, and IT must enable the business to compete.

Sign #2 – Once a Workload is Provisioned, it lives forever

This is related to poor lifecycle management, and more specifically, the lack of decommissioning processes. We all know that it can be really easy with the click of a mouse to spin up a new workload, and then users like to ask for more and more and more, but they can be very reluctant to voluntarily admit to being done using a system, and get back to IT to let them know that they can have the system back.

And that end-user mindset can often come from the fact that it can take so long to provision a system in the first place, as we mentioned in sign #1. So users ultimately tend to want to hoard them and hug them, and keep them in case they ever need them again in the future. If it’s painful to get one in the first place, they want to keep it once they have one., and not give it back.

One example is a financial services customer, and originally, they said that they thought they had a problem with decommissioning. And in their lab, which is heavily virtualized, they had some scheduled maintenance plans on their UPS, and that was going to cause a forced shutdown of the virtual machines. They proactively let the users of the lab know that the shutdown was going to take place, and that the VMs would be powered back on after the shutdown, but in order to do that, the users had to contact IT, to let them know which ones were theirs, so that they could be powered back on.

“ Only 45% of the systems were reclaimed, or declared as still in use”

Once the maintenance happened, and they gave a grace period of a month after in case people were on vacation or just hadn’t got back to them, only 45% of the systems were reclaimed, or declared as still in use, and needed to be powered back on. So 55% of the workloads in that lab were not in use, were wasting resources, and were subsequently identified for reclamation.

Sign #3 - Your IT Team Performs Manual Repetitive Tasks

We all know that IT staff are valuable resources, and that they shouldn’t be doing repetitive and mind-numbing tasks, but second of all, manual tasks are prone to human errors. We still see many IT departments out there not using any form of ticketing system, or some approval process for virtual, or cloud environments. They may have some of those in place for traditional physical environments, but for whatever reason, they haven’t adopting them for their cloud environments. In these cases, the IT departments rely on email requests, or phone messages, or even just walking over to talk to your friendly IT guy to make these requests for new IT infrastructure.

“ The goal for deploying new workloads should be minutes or at most hours. ”

This poor-man’s workflow often gets stalled, it’s not quick, it’s not trackable, it’s not auditable, and it’s just one example of manual, repetitive tasks, and moreover, a breakdown in processes that can allow you company to move forward in its agility.

Automating tasks with a Cloud Management Platform enables your IT staff to start solving the hard problems and architecting for the future. With the number of workloads under management ever-increasing, but the number of staff isn’t, automating repetitive tasks is the only way for IT to have time for the hard stuff.



CONCLUSION:

So there are the first 3 signs that you need to invest in a Cloud Management Platform, next time we will look at 3 or 4 more, but if you can't wait till then, we have a nice little article here that outlines them as well..

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So is it time YOU invested in a cloud management platform ?


 

Topics: Cloud Management Platform (CMP) Justifications