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How to Stay Sane in the Era of Multi-Cloud Infrastructure

In the last year or so, it seems like the wave of companies transitioning their tools to the cloud has skyrocketed, doesn’t it? 92% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy. That means that IT teams are left with a buffet of software in different clouds to deploy and maintain. 

The new world of multi-cloud management has definitely made some things easier. But it’s also brought new complexities and challenges to the forefront. And everyone’s in the same boat. 

So how do we stay sane in this new world? Keep reading and we’ll help you out by offering a few of our favorite tips and tricks.

Previously bogged down by rigid, in-house hardware and labyrinth of resources it took to manage them, many organizations are basking in the efficiency, scalability, and business agility their multi-cloud investments bring. Where legacy on-prem solutions are often fraught with inflexible tools that carry a significant technology debt due to dated languages, code, and architectures, new agnostic tech and solutions are now being built in the cloud. 

Why does this matter? Cloud adoption is no longer just an option, it’s a business imperative. Unfortunately, how you get there can be fraught with complications, confusion, and anxiety.

Multi-Cloud Recommendations and Insights

Automox is the cloud-native IT operations platform, so we understand multi-cloud because we work and live in the cloud every day. Let’s dive into more detail to help you not only stay sane, but flourish in your multi-cloud environment. 

Start With Strategy

If your business is aligned on a cohesive multi-cloud strategy, the entire process of adoption and maintenance will be much smoother. Get everyone on the same page and define some measurable goals you’d like to achieve. 

Remember, consolidating strategies not only across ITOps, but also business, operations, DevOps, and other teams will help ensure everyone’s on the same page. Then, define some quantifiable goals – are you looking to lower downtime by 20%, or to streamline processes to improve productivity by 15%? 

Consider capturable metrics now and see how you’d like to improve them. This will help you center your team when times get stressful or progress is tricky to track. 

A clear strategy will also reduce technology and expense creep as you seek out future technology solutions.

Uplevel Security

Unfortunately, as organizations expand their business across multi-cloud environments, hackers have increased the sophistication of their approaches. To beat assailants’ new tactics, organizations must actively uplevel security to remediate increasing risks. 

But rest assured, securing your multi-cloud environment can be less daunting with a few basic considerations/investments:

  • The cloud technology stack – First, invest in security that’s developed specifically for the cloud and seamlessly folds into your cloud technology stack. Gartner, for example, has termed “Cybersecurity Mesh” as their approach to scalable, flexible, and reliable cybersecurity. This mesh includes cloud technologies and architectures such as cloud access security brokers (CASBs), the zero-trust framework, and secure access service edge (SASE) solutions to secure and connect multi-cloud environments. Knowing what cloud security solutions are available is half the battle. Researching industry analysts’ recommendations, like Gartner’s, are a great start. 

  • Cloud-based access controls – Cloud-native, role-based Access Control (RBAC) solutions can quickly lock out unauthorized users, control access creep, and ensure users are only acting on the permissions they’ve been granted. Automox Global Zone Management works across cloud boundaries to control user access and permissions across all of your devices, regardless of which public cloud vendor(s) you use.

  • Modern identity platforms – Most new identity platforms make the user the new perimeter (i.e. on-prem protections preventing outsider access to company assets). This newer model ensures quick, exact, and secure access. It’s a far cry from the traditional four-walls office infrastructure.
    For example, investing in single-sign on (SSO) centralizes identity control and reduces password mismanagement, while Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) protects employee access by validating identities through more than one method. 

  • Cyber hygiene solutions – Start by “locking your organization’s doors” to avoid breaches by practicing good cyber hygiene. Healthy endpoint management should be your first step to squash known vulnerabilities.

    Keep it Simple

  • Your journey to multi-cloud comes with its own set of challenges and complexities. Managing multiple cloud environments and legacy infrastructures across a distributed workforce and thousands of devices is a daunting task. Remember, keep it simple. 

First, deal with the elephant in the room – your legacy tech. It’s one of the biggest barriers to cloud adoption. Tackle your legacy infrastructure by driving for backward compatibility or scrapping older investments for new cloud-native solutions. Without a solid plan to update your equipment, infrastructures may continue to use on-prem tooling, limiting the full benefits of the cloud. 

Your IT teams can’t tackle what they can’t see. The accumulation of applications, different tech stacks, and a mix of public and private clouds can create a lack of clarity and blurred workflows. When investing in new technologies or processes, ask yourself, “Will this blur or elevate visibility?” 

Seek tools that promote visibility and support a single source of truth. For example, Automox partners with leading companies like ServiceNow, Rapid7, and Splunk. The goal is to seamlessly integrate with the tools and services already found in most IT environments. Once you get that single holistic view, you can consolidate reporting and improve cross-team sharing capabilities.

Last, but not least, we recommend you automate wherever possible. Automation won’t just keep your IT staff sane, but it will improve user productivity and maintain your organization's ability to pivot quickly in an ever-evolving environment. 

From onboarding and deprovisioning users to patching devices across your multi-cloud environments or deploying software, automation holds the key to driving your dynamic cloud infrastructure forward. 

Don't Overlook People

The lack of resources or expertise for multi-cloud – both technically and operationally – can have a significant impact on the success or demise of your cloud strategy. 

Elevate the following questions in your discussions to ensure you are set up for success: 

  • Are the right incentives in place? Is life-work balance achievable? Are your top performers excited and engaged? Would additional automation and workflow improvements make their work lives easier?

  • Can cloud centers of excellence or best practices help you align your in-house expertise and knowledge across your teams? The cloud opens the door to collaboration and shared resources, so ensure you are taking advantage of this as well.

  • Would a service provider help move your multi-cloud objectives forward more quickly? Could they help with specific projects or in the day-to-day management? This is an opportune time to look at the cost and benefits of your internal workforce and bring on external expertise if needed. 

Don’t forget that multi-cloud adoption is a journey. Expect integration to be continuous. Ensure you have the technologies and capabilities in place to quickly respond to org, process, and digital shifts across your multi-cloud environment. 

Don’t let your multi-cloud transformation drive you and your coworkers crazy. Instead, thrive through preparedness, strategic planning, and a readiness for whatever comes next. 

  1. Where can I find other Automox tips for efficiency in ITOps?

  2. What are the principles of good cyber hygiene?

  3. Can you walk me through automating patch management?

Automox for Easy IT Operations

Automox is the cloud-native IT operations platform for modern organizations. It makes it easy to keep every endpoint automatically configured, patched, and secured – anywhere in the world. With the push of a button, IT admins can fix critical vulnerabilities faster, slash cost and complexity, and win back hours in their day. 

Demo Automox and join thousands of companies transforming IT operations into a strategic business driver.

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