How to Measure and Support Your CIO’s Hybrid Cloud Agenda: 5 Key Performance Criteria

July 25 2016 | by Yoav Mor

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Hybrid cloud computing has been the cornerstone of a revolution in enterprise IT, as companies adopt a faster, leaner and more agile approach to software development through the combined benefits of traditional data centers and a modern and scalable on-demand computing environment.

But, whereas start-ups have long been using cloud computing to get their IT systems off the ground, enterprises are still relative newcomers to the cloud. So when your CIO takes your organization on a hybrid cloud journey, it’s essential you both support their goals and have a clear set of criteria by which you can judge their performance.

In this post, we explore five key objectives of your hybrid cloud, so you understand what your CIO is trying to achieve and how to measure their accomplishments.

1. Cloud Migration

Successful migration to a modern cloud-based environment is no easy challenge, particularly at enterprise level where complex legacy systems are involved and staff may be resistant to change. Your CIO should make a solid business case for every migration project, carefully identifying applications that are ripe for renewal and suitable for deployment in the cloud.

They’ll also need to decide whether to rehost or rearchitect those applications. This is because rearchitecting applications to the cloud is time-consuming and costly. So, while rearchitecting allows applications to make better use of the features available in the cloud, a more pragmatic approach may be to rehost selected systems first.

Your CIO will also need to balance the requirements of all stakeholders to ensure your choice of platform works well for all parties, while at the same time taking steps to avoid vendor lock-in. And they’ll have ultimate responsibility for a whole range of other undertakings, such as staff training, recruitment, progress monitoring, security and compliance.

2. System Integration

The goal of your hybrid IT infrastructure is to provide a seamless environment of integrated applications and services across both your public and private clouds.

But the problem is that, although many cloud management and integration tools may be suitable for your hybrid environment as a whole, they don’t necessarily provide the granular support for your individual use cases, such as disaster recovery or bursting workloads.

The alternative to integration tools is to make use of container technology, such as Docker. However, most container solutions are only designed for one specific platform. So they’re unable to accommodate federated infrastructures made up of data centers and different public clouds.

As your hybrid cloud evolves and matures, it’s likely more integration solutions will come onto the market and existing products will improve. But, in the meantime, your CIO will be tasked with researching the options available to ensure your hybrid environment supports the applications your business actually needs.

3. DevOps Adoption

DevOps tools are amongst the biggest selling features of the cloud and are key to driving operational efficiency. Central to your DevOps implementation will be automation and continuous integration. And by leveraging tools for project collaboration, infrastructure provisioning, system migration, workflow orchestration and application deployment, you’ll be able to streamline software production—from project planning and development right through to testing and deployment.

The goal of your CIO is to support their adoption and ultimately realize their potential for wider business benefits. In other words, not only as a way to lower operational costs but also as a platform for accelerated growth and agility, innovation and differentiation in the marketplace.

4. Security

By contrast with DevOps, which frees up developers to focus on the things they want to do, security is widely seen as an obstacle to agile software development. It is often treated as an afterthought. But without incorporating security processes throughout your development workflows, you leave your systems vulnerable to attack. So, while DevOps can speed up the development lifecycle and rate of deployment, it can have profound implications for security.

What’s more, security is often overlooked in development and testing environments. So attackers all too frequently exploit them as an entry point to more sensitive parts of your IT infrastructure.

Your CIO should look to address these issues by adopting a rugged DevOps approach, which integrates security tools and practices directly into the development cycle. And, as part of this shift in culture, they should also cultivate relationships between security teams and their development and operations counterparts, as this will raise security awareness and help incorporate security into the DevOps agenda.

5. Cost Monitoring

A move to the cloud also presents your CIO with a number of financial challenges. With on-demand pay-as-you-go computing, it’s incredibly easy to order new IT services at the click of a button. But, at the same time, it’s easy to lose track of those resources and the charges they rack up.

This underlines the importance of using tools that give your IT financial teams the visibility they need over a complex IT environment. However, not only do they help you to keep track of the resources you use, but also compare usage levels against utilization. That way, you can strike the right balance between performance and cost, thereby making the most efficient use of your in-house and cloud-based infrastructure.

Moreover, cloud cost monitoring tools will help your CIO fulfill other financial objectives, such as accurately allocating chargebacks and showbacks for use of both on-premise and public cloud resources. This will help them individually report and govern the budgets of each business unit and also meet their goal of keeping costs within budgets.

The Bigger Picture

The ultimate objective of your hybrid cloud agenda is to improve the bottom line. And, by making better use of the technologies, costing models and operational processes that the cloud has to offer, you’ll be able to streamline your IT and make significant cost savings.

But the cloud brings another business benefit—in the form of accelerated development and a modern flexible platform for creating new IT-driven business opportunities and revenue streams. And that’s why it’s so important you not only measure your CIO’s hybrid cloud objectives but also support them.

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