4 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Cloud Management Platform

4 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Cloud Management Platform

In the early days of cloud computing, enterprise cloud resources were relatively small and easy to handle. However, with more cloud applications on the market, there are now plenty of tasks that companies can perform in the cloud. To take advantage of these cloud apps, companies put more and more resources into their cloud environment. This created a problem: how could these enterprises manage all of the data and information on their cloud infrastructure?

Enter the cloud management platform (CMP) market. CMPs are tools that help businesses manage their cloud operations and optimize cloud costs. Though the market is fairly recent, many enterprises are adopting CMPs in order to maximize their cloud efficiency. Since CMPs haven’t yet reached their maturity stage, it can be difficult to know what to look for in a platform. Before you take the plunge into a cloud management tool, make sure you ask yourself these 4 questions first.

Am I choosing a CMP for the right reasons?

Many businesses integrate a CMP because they’re simply too confused about how the cloud works. While that certainly is a problem that should be fixed, a CMP might not be the right answer. CMPs work best for optimizing costs and security practices for companies already situated in the cloud. Your team needs a basic understanding of your cloud environment to get the best out of your CMP. If your team doesn’t have the skills necessary to work in the cloud, a CMP won’t magically take care of everything for you.

It’s best to think of CMPs are a supplementary resource for your cloud infrastructure – a way to help reduce unnecessary spending and effort – rather than as an end-all-be-all solution for dropping and maintaining resources in the cloud. CMPs are designed to help IT teams manage their cloud operations, not take over for them.

Is having a third-party help manage my cloud resources really cost-effective?

CMPs advertise that they promote cost efficiency for businesses, but is the investment into a CMP worth it? If you don’t have a management strategy in mind before you adopt a tool, you won’t be able to get full use out of the CMP. If you do have a strategy, are you sure you need a program to help leverage your cloud management expenses?

Depending on the size of your business, you’ll need a number of people on your staff to use the CMP on a regular basis. That means they’ll need to be trained on using the platform, which may incur hidden costs if you don’t properly consider your cloud access approach.

What management functions am I looking for?

CMPs can handle several different areas of cloud management. Knowing which ones you want or need to focus on is important before you introduce a tool into your infrastructure. Common management capabilities for CMPs include self-service cloud, resource management, cloud spend management, and cloud security. If you plan out what you need help managing on the cloud, you’ll have a better idea of what to look for in a CMP. Consider what each CMP has to offer and what you need help regulating.

Are the CMPs I’m considering likely to grow and mature?

As I said above, the CMP market is still in its infancy. As CMPs get more advanced, it’s only natural to expect the market to undergo serious changes in the next couple of years. That means CMPs will inevitably introduce more features and capabilities. It also means that mergers and acquisitions in the CMP sector are more likely now than ever. Your enterprise should account for unexpected CMP growth when evaluating solutions to get a better projection on the costs of implementing a management platform.

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Daniel Hein