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Your Guide to Multicloud Part 4: How I&O Leaders Can Maintain Relevance in a Multicloud World

This article offers strategies that I&O leaders can use to position themselves as in-house experts on all things cloud. At the close of this article, you will understand the steps you must take to stay relevant in the Age of Multicloud. You will also know who to ask when you are ready for help setting up and supporting each step of your department’s multicloud journey.

As you have been reading along and learning about the many multicloud pitfalls that mirror outdated legacy solution issues, it may seem to you that the more things change in the IT world, the more they stay the same

That is true up to a point. 

Though it is accurate that many modern, multicloud IT operations are susceptible to the same concerns and blind spots that IT has always been subject to, and that users will grudgingly accept that fact, the I&O team must change or risk running afoul of the end-users. If both tech and I&O seem the same over time, end users will inevitably blame I&O for any ongoing tech issues – which will result in the eventual dissolution of the I&O department. 

This post will help you avoid that potential future at all costs, by giving you tips for evolving your department’s image and role in the enterprise, transforming you from the “break/fix Help Desk” to the “solutions facilitators for cloud.” 

To begin this transformation properly, your first step will have to be to fix or prevent issues within your multicloud environment

 

How to Avoid Multicloud Issues

The main obstacle to fixing multicloud issues lies in visibility. As we mentioned in Part 3, ill-architected and unsecured shadow IT and cost overruns are some of the most pressing problems for ineffectual multicloud setups. Both of those can be easily overcome with clearer insight into the multicloud system as a whole. 

To gain true visibility and clarity, you will need to create a comprehensive “single pane of glass” option that can monitor resource and usage across all your cloud solutions, as well as your remaining on-premises legacy solutions, if you maintain any. 

As you can guess, setting up a fully complete “single pane of glass” solution for monitoring your various setups will require in-depth cloud integration skills and, of course, it will have to run on the cloud as well (PaaS is a very effective solution for tools like this). The complexity of building this cloud-based, cloud-monitoring solution can add even more confusion to your overall setup, and missing a single detail in the setup process will create blind spots in your monitoring capabilities. 

Best practices suggest that you should hire an experienced, outside multicloud consultant to create your “single pane of glass” monitoring tool quickly and effectively. When selecting your cloud solutions consultant, make sure they have expertise in the cloud computing solutions your enterprise is currently using, or plans to use. Examples of this would include an Azure Oracle Database expert, or an expert in Amazon cloud or Oracle cloud-based solutions. 

Additional tactics to help you fix or avoid multicloud issues include: 

  • Replicating policies across every cloud platform
    Each cloud will have its own set of standards, so you should plan to set up policies across every new cloud platform you use. This process can become repetitive and time-consuming, and may therefore be a great project to outsource to a multicloud service provider.
  • Certifying data integrity of all shared data
    We will discuss multicloud data management in depth in the next article, but it is important to understand that improperly set up multiclousd environments can all-too-easily lead to data integrity issues that can undermine trust across the enterprise.
  • Limiting network or data latency issues by utilizing integration tools
    In Part 1, we dispelled the myth that portability is a valuable selling proposition for multicloud setups. We suggested the missing features or functionality in each cloud can be remedied with third-party ISV solutions that target that specific, required function (much like COTS products for legacy solutions). Similarly, cloud-agnostic data integration tools can simplify the task of maintaining real-time data insight across clouds.
  • Maintaining control over security and compliance
    The more clouds you maintain, the greater your attack surface and the greater your risk for compliance issues. The biggest risk your organization faces when it comes to multicloud environments is the prevalence of shadow IT. To effectively control cloud-based shadow IT across the enterprise, you will need to ensure adequate insight and as granular control as possible over your solution. Some clouds provide highly granular control and unimpeded insight, whereas other clouds provide little if any insight and control into network security.

Varied offered amounts of network control add an additional level of complexity that you must account for in a multicloud system. This may be a good task to outsource to a cloud managed services provider

The best way to handle each of these issues is to create a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCOE) at your enterprise, which holds the necessary cloud skills and capabilities to ensure each of these multicloud best practices are strictly followed at all times. 

 

Setting Up a Cloud Center of Excellence for Your Enterprise

An effective CCOE will transform the image of I&O at your company into trusted cloud experts. It will transform the image of your department from Infrastructure & Operations to Infrastructure & Cloud (“I&C”) and, if you craft your cloud image and your CCOE properly, the company will look to you for all cloud and multicloud advice going forward. 

Critical steps for setting up your Cloud Center of Excellence include:

  • Hiring a cloud champion (more on that below)
  • Remarketing yourself as cloud experts and a cloud team
  • Continuously improving both operations and your workforce skills
  • Developing a curated selection of self-serve, on-demand cloud integration options for Line of Business leaders
  • Positioning yourself as the Cloud Service Broker (CSB): the team that flexibly, quickly, and knowledgeably brokers access to cloud tools, services, and solutions for enterprise end users

Setting up an effective, trusted CCOE is not an easy task. Many I&O leaders find that their largest obstacle lies in the requirement to find, hire, and maintain a cloud expert candidate with a very specific skillset who can lead the CCOE. 

According to Gartner in their 2020 report, “Evolve Your Infrastructure and Operations to Remain Relevant in the Cloud Era,” this candidate must have the ability to: 

  • Balance tech know-how, business acumen, decision-making, and interpersonal communications
  • Act as Chief Cloud Architect
  • Lead the CCOE
  • Build a Cloud Service Brokerage (CSB) 
  • Work with Microsoft Azure, Oracle, AWS, and/or Google Cloud Platform
  • Understand and problem-solve with various combined cloud technologies, such as for running Oracle Database in Google Cloud
  • Build and lead a cohesive cloud team in a hostile environment resistant to change
  • Balance consensus building with authorized action while maintaining project momentum

In their report, the Gartner analysts admit that finding this ideal person with this precise range of skills can be difficult due to a variety of potential concerns, including salary costs and job hopping. 

Gartner suggests that if you are unable to find this professional, you may instead choose to build your internal cloud skills and supplement gaps by hiring an experienced cloud service provider (CSP), also known as a cloud managed services provider. Finding the right CSP for your enterprise will depend on your unique in-house skills and requirements, but best practices suggest that you should look for a CSP that is experienced in the specific multicloud setup you are currently running or plan to run soon. 

After all, an Azure cloud service provider would not be the best choice for you if you plan to run Oracle in Google Cloud or Oracle Database in AWS. For those situations, you would want to work closely with an experienced Oracle Cloud managed service provider, an Amazon cloud service provider, or a Google cloud service provider with specific experience integrating Google Cloud/Oracle environments. 

 

How to Find the Right Cloud Service Provider for Your Enterprise

The right cloud service provider will be a critical addition to your cloud team if you are unable to find the ideal cloud candidate to lead your CCOE. You can rely on the CSP to help you with data management, cost control, comprehensive agility, and full cloud flexibility – which gives you the freedom to establish your I&O (or “I&C”) department as the go-to cloud experts in your organization. (And if you find that you need to rely on additional cloud expertise to handle especially difficult multicloud queries from across your enterprise, the right CSP can help you quickly identify clear, accurate, enterprise-specific answers that you can take back to your team.)

Though it will take dedication and hard work to transform your department into the critical, go-to cloud experts for the enterprise, this evolution is necessary for you to maintain your relevance in a multicloud-driven world. Inevitably, there will be cloud issues because cloud is a form of technology. If you have completed the necessary steps to adjust the image of your department from one of tech obstacle to one of tech facilitation, you can better ensure that enterprise end users will view your department as the solution to cloud issues, rather than the problem that caused the cloud issues. 

 

With a history of more than 20 years spent helping enterprises select, implement, optimize, and support the precise business technology they require, the experienced multicloud cloud solution provider (CSP) team at Centroid is the right choice to trust for your carefully planned multicloud deployment. 

As one of the most experienced cloud partners in the Oracle ecosystem, Centroid offers unique insight that you can leverage to make sure your Oracle solutions deliver seamless performance, whether you choose to host or integrate them with Oracle Cloud, AWS, Google Cloud Platform, or Azure. Better yet, the Centroid team can handle the details for you, so you can take full advantage of the wide-ranging benefits of a strategic multicloud environment – with none of the management headaches

I&O leaders at many of today’s leading global enterprises, including Toshiba, Subaru, and Overstock.com, have trusted the expertise of Centroid’s cloud solution provider (CSP) team to support and simplify management for their cloud setups – and you can too! 

 

Simply contact Centroid online or at (877) 868-1753 to set up your multicloud consultation with one of our world-class multicloud solution providers today. 

 

Read Part 5: Your Guide To Multicloud Part 5: Data Management Tips & Tricks For The Multicloud

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