Migrating to the cloud promises many qualities – scalability, security, reliability, customisation, and so on. However, it can also throw up some important questions about how this new environment will be managed.
Possibly at the top of that list is the allocation of control over the cloud’s functions and resources. In years gone by, everything would have been controlled in-house, but the cloud’s decentralised nature changes this so it’s important to structure a new control strategy and its responsibilities.
So, what should a cloud control strategy look like, and what responsibilities should it include? When working with a cloud service provider, how should you decide who is accountable for what? Some may also find the concept of external IT management daunting, confusing or just plain disagreeable.
We’ve written this short guide on cloud control to help address any questions or scepticisms you may have.
The first step in managing the control of your cloud environment should introduce two key questions.
1. What are we trying to control?
2. How are these controls applied?
These questions should identify what areas of your environment need controlling, who is currently controlling what and possible gaps in your current control strategy. Let’s breakdown each question in greater detail.
Control over data – Who is accountable for the safety and security of your business data?
Control over functionality – What level of functionality and efficiency is required and who is responsible for ensuring this?
Control over infrastructure – Who is responsible for the management and upkeep of the supporting and underlying IT infrastructure of your environment? This should include backup and disaster recovery resources if you have them.
Control over access – Accessibility is a huge benefit with cloud environments but who is responsible for managing access controls?
Executive control – Who is responsible for selecting the cloud provider, ensuring they meet the standards of service quality, and overseeing the legalities and contractual agreements?
Financial control – Who oversees the budget, expenditure on resources and overall costs associated with your cloud environment?
Solution control – Who is responsible for the technical solutions, operational policies and best practices of your cloud environment?
Operational control – Who is responsible for the operation and day-to-day management of your cloud platform?
This checklist has hopefully helped to identify some of the key considerations when it comes to managing the control of your cloud environment. It also might have flagged up areas that may need closer attention.
It’s also important to bear in mind a lot of these responsibilities are not a singular tick-box exercise, they’re often on-going and require constant attention and review. Defining when, how often and how much time each control needs will be important to the continual management of your cloud environment.
Of course, not all of these responsibilities will or should be yours alone, and can be shared with your cloud suppliers depending on your business’s in-house skills, expertise and workload. Striking the right balance between maintaining cloud control and offloading it onto your cloud provider(s) is really important in terms of functionality, expertise and security. This will differ depending on your business in terms of personnel, resources and skillset, as well as your specific cloud solution and cloud partners.
At Secura, we understand that controlling your cloud setup may seem like a daunting prospect. We also understand the importance of quality and service control, and we’re dedicated to working closely with all of our customers to really understand their specific business requirements, tailor your solution to meet this, and work closely with you to manage and control it going forward.
The Secura team and our support is what really makes Secura stand out as a provider, and the reason our customers love working with us.
“From a technical point of view, they tick all the boxes that you would expect from any professional hosting company. What Secura have delivered over and above that is around the service, and the reactiveness of the staff and our relationship with Secura – I think that’s where Secura add real value to the technology.”
Steve Irons, Managing Director, Code String
We hope this blog has been helpful. As always, if you have any questions regarding this blog post or any of Secura’s services, please feel free to get in touch.
Image credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.com
Matthew is Secura's content specialist, producing gripping, emotionally complex, edge of your seat, cloud hosting articles and videos.
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