When it comes to choosing a cloud management platform (CMP) for your business, you shouldn’t pick the first platform you come across in the market; although, you might be tempted to, since many of them seem to offer a long list of similar features and capabilities. In reality, the tech market is full of cloud management solutions that come in all shapes and sizes; and, if you know what to look for, you can indeed find the right one.
Yet, how do you know which one is the one for your business? Considering that, at the end of the day, it’s not about what a platform can offer; but, rather, how it can meet the needs — or solve the problems — of your business.
Choosing a cloud management platform — What to consider
As we’ve mentioned earlier, there are many solutions on the market that offer different capabilities. To avoid confusion, when you find yourself in the process of choosing a cloud management platform, you need to decide on an objective, first. Why do you really need a CMP for your business? For example, do you want to optimize costs, or are you looking for an efficient way to simplify your management? Maybe you want to speed up your software development?
In all truthfulness, finding the best cloud management software for your business’s needs revolves around a series of questions and considerations. To help you, below, we look briefly at some of the top questions that an all-round CMP should be able to cover:
1. Does it simplify cloud management?
A good cloud management platform can indeed simplify cloud management, in every respect. To start with, it offers a centralized point of action, from which your team can build, deploy, and monitor services and applications, quickly and efficiently. In this way, such a platform can facilitate IT self-service and procure resources, as needed. As a result, you’ll be in a position to define the subsequent resource usage and, thus, cloud expenses.
2. Can it provide complete visibility?
To put it another way, does it help you get a detailed view of your entire cloud activity? By all means, a comprehensive platform can offer easy access to the data you need, at the moment you need it. This means, on one hand, that you can oversee your system and applications anytime, to ensure there’s no threat lurking somewhere. On the other hand, you can evaluate application performance and apply remedial measures for issues detected, in real-time. In short, cloud visibility is all about gaining control over your IT infrastructure.
3. Is it built with DevOps automation in mind?
Without a doubt, the cloud lies at the center of DevOps. So much so, that most DevOps principles cannot be practically applied, without the Cloud; to name a few, Agile methodology, CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery), testing, measurement, and continuous quality improvement. A CMP with DevOps automation delivers successful projects reliably, accurately, and quickly; and, with a high level of consistency.
Therefore, it should be obvious that a good CMP is built with the best DevOps practices in mind. On the whole, using a DevOps-friendly platform allows you to increase overall efficiency, by:
- Automating various tasks, such as pinpointing underutilized resources, and making the most of them
- Enabling on-demand self-service resources consumption
- Utilizing ready-made service units and stack templates, to automate workflows
4. Can this cloud management platform speed up software development?
This one comes hand-in-hand with the previous question, naturally. To be honest, you should be choosing a cloud management platform that can streamline and speed up software development. Such a CMP could enable single-click deployments and even produce reports highlighting user behavior, regarding your applications. It could also help break internal silos; this alone could help speed up the whole software development process.
5. Does it enable application monitoring?
When choosing a cloud management platform, it’s also wise to check if it can keep track of your application’s health and performance; while reviewing, observing, and managing the operational workflow. This functionality will help you identify and thwart threats, before they reach your end-users. In short, a CMP offers an effective way to scan your whole set of services, in real-time; and ensure they’re performing optimally.
6. Is it aiming for cost optimization, through and through?
Suffice to say, choosing a cloud management platform that allows you to closely monitor and manage resource consumption, helps you stay within budget. Hence, you should keep in mind that a good CMP is focused on managing and optimizing cloud costs. To illustrate, the platform should enable you to estimate cloud usage and, thus, forecast future expenses. This way, you can have a comprehensive perspective on cloud costs so that you can improve expenditure; and, of course, increase your business bottom line.
Choosing a cloud management platform that’s in alignment with the needs of your business
With the previous questions in mind, it should be clear by now that choosing a cloud management platform highly depends on the needs of your business and, of course, your overall cloud strategy. Generally speaking, most tech chiefs aim to find cloud management software that delivers the best, value-for-money solution, promptly. As a rule of thumb, a well-architected CMP, primarily provides the following functions:
- simplification of management,
- DevOps automation,
- fast service delivery,
- application monitoring, and
- cost optimization.
Keep in mind, cloud services and CMPs continue to evolve, so it’s unlikely that you’ll find one that can serve as a “one size fits all” solution. However, it’s wise to choose a vendor whose strategy is aligned with yours; and, whose product can foster your business goals. So, take your time and choose wisely, when it comes to finding the right cloud management platform.