Posted: 24 Feb. 2022 10 min. read

CloudOps: A new approach to cloud management

 A blog post by David Linthicum, chief cloud strategy officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP


How can enterprises get more value from their cloud investments? By rethinking and reinventing their operating models and talent mix, and by implementing new tools, such as AIOps, to better manage ever-increasing cloud complexity. That’s where the new discipline of CloudOps comes in. In short, when organizations practice CloudOps, they use automation, tools, and cloud-centric operational processes to optimize the maintenance of their cloud ecosystem. Long term, CloudOps can enable organizations to become more proactive and efficient, and to achieve better business outcomes.

Moving from reactive to proactive with CloudOps

Often when companies make the leap to cloud, they keep the same IT operational processes and tools they used in operating traditional systems in a data center. However, those traditional processes and tools often don’t translate well to a cloud environment that’s much more architecturally complex—think multi and hybrid cloud architectures. As a result, Ops teams are often left in a reactionary posture, chasing solutions with inadequate information, tools, and processes as problems get worse.

Instead, to unlock the power of the cloud and gain more value, organizations can leverage CloudOps to rethink their operating model, talent mix, and tools. Automation is key, as is leveraging tools such as AIOps that can help spot risks early, fix them proactively, and remove complexity for more cost-effective operations.

Rethink the operating model

Cloud can change an organization’s entire IT operations environment, from how work is done, to who does it, to the tools needed to operate in a complex cloud ecosystem. Therefore, it’s essential to reimagine and rebuild the enterprise IT operating model and processes to become cloud-centric. The way to start is by evaluating the current operational state and designing a future state. Once organizations define their future state, they can adjust and realign their operating model to realize their cloud-centric future.

The new cloud operating model should leverage automation where possible, so that organizations can gain the ability to be more agile, secure, and proactive. Moving forward, it’s necessary to continually reevaluate the cloud operating model to employ additional automation and take advantage of new cloud features and capabilities, so they can manage emerging problems and security needs proactively and meet the changing demands of their markets.

Address talent needs

Talent is another key factor to capitalize on the power of cloud. There’s a critical shortage of cloud talent, so it’s important for enterprises to assess their cloud skill sets and devise a plan for identifying talent needs and critical gaps, and then develop strategies to close the gaps.

There are a couple of choices to close those talent gaps: hire from an ever-competitive market or build skills in-house. Many companies choose the in-house route because it typically doesn’t displace workers; instead, it gives those workers the ability to reskill or upskill. Plus it leverages the organizational experience and insight of existing talent.

Leverage AIOps

AIOps, or AI operations, uses new tools—or traditional monitoring and operations tools that have been recast and reengineered—to leverage artificial intelligence to solve problems and perform root-cause analysis. With AIOps, the Ops teams can become more proactive because as the AI algorithms learn, teams can leverage that knowledge to find and fix problems before they become catastrophic.

AIOps also helps companies centralize knowledge management within their AIOps toolset and operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, regardless of staffing levels, so that over time, as AIOps tools become smarter, they become a knowledge engine that enables a continuously improving operational state.

One caveat: Because of the power of AIOps tools, it’s easy to quickly become enamored with them and rush to implementation—especially if competitors are doing so. But these tools are complicated to deploy, and it takes time to fully grasp AIOps capabilities and optimally leverage them, so organizations that do implement AIOps should proceed judiciously and really take the time to understand their needs and how AIOps tools fit those needs.

Looking forward

CloudOps isn’t a panacea for whatever ails cloud deployments. However, enterprises that leverage CloudOps to rethink their operating model, talent mix, and tools will likely be better positioned to predict events, manage outcomes, and gain new operational efficiencies to help maximize the value of cloud to their organization.

Learn more about this topic by listening to our On Cloud podcast by David Linthicum.

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David Linthicum

David Linthicum

Managing Director | Chief Cloud Strategy Officer

As the chief cloud strategy officer for Deloitte Consulting LLP, David is responsible for building innovative technologies that help clients operate more efficiently while delivering strategies that enable them to disrupt their markets. David is widely respected as a visionary in cloud computing—he was recently named the number one cloud influencer in a report by Apollo Research. For more than 20 years, he has inspired corporations and start-ups to innovate and use resources more productively. As the author of more than 13 books and 5,000 articles, David’s thought leadership has appeared in InfoWorld, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, NPR, Gigaom, and Prior to joining Deloitte, David served as senior vice president at Cloud Technology Partners, where he grew the practice into a major force in the cloud computing market. Previously, he led Blue Mountain Labs, helping organizations find value in cloud and other emerging technologies. He is a graduate of George Mason University.