What Is CloudOps? Benefits and Best Practices You Must Know
Cloud computing offers many advantages over traditional on-prem computing. But for the inexperienced, wrapping your head around everything that falls under the cloud domain can feel intimidating — not only because cloud can impact nearly every aspect of an IT environment, but because the topic itself is complex and fast changing.
Without the right strategy to monitor and optimize your cloud tools and processes, you could miss out on the many benefits of the cloud. Ultimately, that's why more organizations are adopting a CloudOps approach to managing applications and workloads.
What is CloudOps?
Short for “cloud operations,” CloudOps manages activities related to optimizing IT workloads or services in the cloud. It combines various functions — like cloud architecture, software development, IT operations, security and compliance — to increase the flexibility, availability, accessibility and efficiency of cloud services while also boosting business agility.
CloudOps leverages DevOps best practices to centralize cloud operations from different operating environments. It enables organizations to:
- Build cloud infrastructure and deliver cloud services more cost-effectively
- Optimize service performance and availability, regardless of the platforms used
- Ensure adherence to industry standards and compliance with regulations
- Automate services and configuration management to streamline IT workflows
- Enhance security and implement a reliable backup/disaster recovery plan
- Enable self-service application deployment automation and orchestration
CloudOps can help you promote an agile work environment, align teams and ensure that your cloud environment supports your overall business goals. It streamlines workflows, increases productivity and helps deliver seamless experiences that meet customer expectations.
Benefits of CloudOps
In short, CloudOps enables organizations to tap into the full potential of the public cloud while maintaining a high level of control and visibility. When done right, organizations can gain many advantages from implementing CloudOps practices, including:
Using cloud infrastructure hosted by a third party means you don't have to spend money purchasing and maintaining expensive hardware. You can also avoid the costs associated with running a large data center, such as paying for facilities and utilities or hiring a large IT team.
Scalability and flexibility
Cloud-based services allow you to expand your capability at any time without having to look for extra bandwidth, find storage capacity or buy and configure new hardware. By purchasing capabilities on demand, you can shift from a CAPEX to an OPEX model.
Cloud offers tools to automate and orchestrate tasks such as infrastructure provisioning, creating builds, running quality assurance tests, generating reports and more. This increases IT productivity and operational efficiency to improve service delivery.
Accessibility and availability
Employees can access services or manage cloud operations from anywhere with any device. Meanwhile, the software can be updated or deployed without any disruption to services. This enables organizations to achieve continuous operations and the highest level of availability.
Cloud service providers have dedicated cybersecurity teams to monitor their platforms and ensure data or services are protected from malicious actors. Most cloud providers are compliant with today's data privacy regulations (e.g., GDPR, HIPAA) and can help you adhere to these guidelines in an economic fashion.
Backup and recovery
Most cloud-based systems store multiple copies of your data in various locations to guard against cyberattacks and physical disasters. These redundancies are fault-tolerant, which protects you from the high costs of downtime and data loss.
How to effectively implement CloudOps
While CloudOps offers many benefits, we all know there’s no such thing as a free lunch. For most adopters, the effort is well worth it in the end. But implementing CloudOps is not without its challenges.
Some of the roadblocks you may encounter when attempting to implement CloudOps include:
- Budget overruns caused by idle or underused space
- Security risks due to improper system configurations
- Governance issues as a result of rapid deployment
Fortunately, you can mitigate these risks and fully realize the value of CloudOps by first taking the time to develop a solid cloud migration strategy that addresses all the complexities of cloud. As a follow-up step, we recommend visualizing your entire network structure to gain a holistic view of how all your systems work together.
You generally need a suite of ops management tools to abstract you away from the complexity of CloudOps. Otherwise, you may have difficulty tracking all the systems during operations, which can impact your response time.
CloudOps is a proactive operation. You need an ongoing analytical process to predict and correct issues before they impact users. You can automate these activities by collecting and analyzing data over time to identify patterns.
To minimize resistance within your organization as you embark on your cloud migration journey, we recommend working to promote a cultural shift to garner high-level management and employee buy-in. For example, you can achieve quick wins and demonstrate the value of CloudOps by enabling end-user self-provisioning and automating testing against compliance policies.
While the successful adoption of CloudOps practices can seem daunting given all the moving parts, a keen focus on the ensuring your team has the right cloud experience, strategy and technology will help you achieve the highest ROI.