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Cloud Automation: Closing the Innovation Gap with Cloud Adoption

Cloud | Posted on December 11, 2017 by Arun Kirupananthan

Businesses often turn to the cloud as a new destination to run their workloads. But getting the most out of the cloud requires more than a simple lift-and-shift of your applications.

That was the point made in our recent webinar, Cloud as a Model, not a Place: Migration and Automation. According to presenters Patrick O’Leary, Microsoft Practice Leader, and Skip Purdy, Senior Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect, many organizations need to rethink their approach to cloud migration.

Watch the webinar:


By approaching cloud adoption as a new model for IT, you can achieve three major goals:

  1. Enhanced customer experiences
  2. Better risk management
  3. Improved IT impact

Many view the cloud as a means to save costs, but its true benefits come from increased agility.

Today, 48 percent of lines of business go outside of IT to meet their needs for faster innovation.

The flexibility and speed offered by cloud can help close the gap between IT and those lines of business. It’s no wonder Gartner reports that 90 percent of CIOs are using hybrid cloud to get ahead of this trend.

Cloud computing also helps organizations with scaling and meeting high-performance application needs. Both are essential for improving IT service delivery. But to drive material benefit to the business, you must understand cloud automation.

Here are some of the primary uses and benefits:

Benefits of Cloud Automation

Cloud automation unlocks opportunities across every cloud adoption stage:

Build:

  • Cloud automation tools simplify the deployment of virtual machines and cloud infrastructure.
  • They can also integrate with AppDev tools for instant scaling.

Configure:

  • Cloud software updates and patches are made available almost daily.
  • Cloud automation improves efficiency as well as IT security by automating the update process.

Monitor:

  • Integrating automation with cloud monitoring helps you make infrastructure decisions faster.
  • You can also define service thresholds and trigger actions to manage set scenarios, like adding needed resources.

Protect:

  • You can automate troubleshooting to deal with issues like server failures.
  • This is especially effective in the case of repeatable problems.

Security:

  • Using machine learning and automation, cloud security services can proactively take action.
  • For example, you can immediately quarantine hacked VMs. Or have them destroyed and quickly rebuilt.

Governance:

  • You can right-size cloud services with automation, role-based access control, and resource analytics.
  • Automation can also shut down services and machines users have forgotten. This keeps so-called “cloud sprawl” in check.

The automation tool company Puppet found that the benefits of cloud automation are dramatic.

In a recent study they determined that automation reduces deployment time by 3.1 times.

It also keeps infrastructure more current. IT organizations adopting cloud automation deployed changes 2.5 times more often than their peers.

Infrastructure as code is the key to successful cloud automation

Infrastructure as code: the key to cloud automation success

Infrastructure as code is the use of definition files to automate infrastructure. A machine-readable text file describes the infrastructure that will be provisioned and managed. It’s then spun up and down based on this definition.

Infrastructure as code scripts and templates are available for all public cloud environments. This speeds deployment and simplifies the right-sizing of resources while accelerating ROI.

To squeeze the most value out of the cloud, you can’t treat it like traditional IT. You need to view the cloud as a new model for IT services, not a mere destination to put them.

Interested in gaining greater confidence around the cloud? Download our eBook to learn how to build your own cloud strategy or optimize your existing one.

Download the Softchoice 5 Stages of Cloud Adoption eBook

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