5 Priorities When Buying and Deploying Cloud Offerings

To avoid pitfalls, I&O leaders must master competencies in selecting, buying and deploying public cloud services and tools.

 

Selecting a suitable cloud provider to trust with your infrastructure, applications and data can be a complicated process. No two cloud providers are the same, and the lack of a framework for assessment makes selecting the right cloud provider a real challenge for any infrastructure and operations (I&O) leader.

 

Choosing and managing cloud offerings is a critical skill for I&O leaders to master, given cloud computing’s central role in next-generation initiatives such as digital business, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence. Years from now, you don’t want to look back with regret, as the choices you make can have a lasting impact.

 

Gartner has identified five priorities to help when selecting, buying and deploying cloud offerings.

Priority No 1: Research critical features and capabilities of leading cloud providers’ offerings

 

When selecting a cloud provider, consider how its technical architecture will integrate with your workflows, now and in the future. Remember, the technical architectures of leading cloud platforms are large, complex and often difficult to understand. Additionally, technical and architectural details about a provider’s offering are often proprietary, with restrictions on use.

 

Despite these challenges, it’s important to determine the key components of the architectures, how they work together and how that affects the overall solution.

Priority No 2: Understand how cloud offerings stack up against your key requirements and criteria

 

Before choosing a cloud provider, consider how its offerings measure up against your requirements and criteria. For example, when choosing a public cloud service, the standard entry requirements are simplicity, performance, a broad feature set and competitive cost. However, many customers are moving beyond those requirements to choose factors and qualities that will foster a strategic and long-term relationship with a provider.

Priority No 3: Use planning and controls to mitigate security and compliance risks

 

As organizations increase their adoption of public cloud offerings, the need to abide by regulatory and data privacy rules governing the processing of data increases. For example, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect on May 25, 2018, applies to all organizations that process and hold the personal data of anyone residing in the EU, regardless of location. With this in mind, I&O leaders must learn about their cloud provider’s approach to GDPR and the tools it provides for compliance.

Priority No 4: Focus on a structured framework for acquiring cloud management platforms tools

 

Thanks to the quick adoption of cloud services, cloud providers are continually releasing new native tools and services. In turn, this is increasing the importance of cloud management platforms and tools. As a result, IT organizations must create a set of criteria for evaluating cloud management solutions, as well as a comprehensive cloud management strategy for guiding their selection and implementation processes.

 

“An effective cloud account governance and design strategy provides I&O leaders with the ability to effectively scale, avoid sprawl, and reduce networking and management complexities.

Priority No 5: Know your process and architecture options for implementing cloud governance

 

Organizations often prioritize time-to-functionality decisions over planning for long-term scalability and support. However, it’s essential for I&O leaders to take the time to prepare for cloud service governance, as unforeseen steps can have significant impacts and costs later on.

 

“An effective cloud account governance and design strategy provides I&O leaders with the ability to effectively scale, avoid sprawl, and reduce networking and management complexities.

Are you keen to learn more about how to select, buy and deploy cloud offerings? Join us at the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference 2019, 6 – 7 May, Mumbai, India.

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