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Cloud Enablement Defined; Or How You Can Learn To Love The Cloud

Austin Fuller

11 min read

Last updated on July 18th, 2023 at 7:37pm

Your company runs on the cloud. It's not 2011 anymore. There's not really any debate about it. Accounting wouldn't even know how to shift serving costs from opex to capex.

Perhaps you made the transition to the cloud years ago, just started last month, or started the whole company 24 months ago. You're in the cloud. You're in the cloud because your company depends on it. It's the most cost-effective means to run the services your company provides to its customers. Besides, it's also the only way to give your engineers access to a large menu of managed services without needing to hire an army to maintain those services yourself. It only makes sense.

You run a modern-day organization that depends on the cloud, just like everybody else. And like most everybody else, you struggle with having enough cloud experts to manage the cloud, or the right experts to set the right kind of governance over those cloud management actions - one that doesn't cause inefficiencies or confusion.

You are cloud dependent.

You need cloud enablement.

What is Cloud Enablement?

Cloud enablement means that instead of the cloud being a necessity in your operations, the cloud becomes an accessory to your success. Rather than the cloud being something you have to wrangle, the cloud is a means to faster development, speedier implementations, and more secure operations. Instead of frantically pushing buttons to manage the increased demand of the cloud, automated actions happen at the right times. The cloud no longer needs taming. The cloud needs unleashing.

Cloud enablement means that instead of management and governance being done separately by siloed teams, they work together to get the power of the cloud in as many hands as possible to move you forward at a speed unlike ever before. The time and energy spent ensuring you cover your bases on compliance plummets. Cloud enablement means never having to explain to your CFO why you blew your budget. It means being able to give your engineers just the right keys to just the right parts of the kingdom. Cloud enablement means organizing the cloud to work the way your company works rather than organizing your company to work the way the cloud works.


Discover Your Cloud Enablement Score

Our Cloud Enablement Calculator survey is based on cloud management and governance best practices we've learned from cloud service providers, customers, and our own work in the cloud.

Take our brief survey to find out if you're cloud enabled. You'll get a custom report that includes:

  • Your Cloud Enablement Score (0-100)
  • Each question and your response
  • Details on why this topic is critical for cloud enablement
  • Personalized tips on improving your score

Discover Your Score


Aligning Your Business Strategy & Cloud Enablement Strategy

Organizations are embracing the cloud to improve their scalability and efficiency and reduce costs. However, like moving into a new house, your cloud infrastructure may not be tailored to your organization's specific needs right “out of the box”. Cloud enablement, therefore, can be likened to remodeling or renovating a house to suit the organization's requirements. It involves developing a cloud enablement strategy that aligns the cloud infrastructure with the organization's present and future needs.

Organizations must evaluate their current and future needs regarding automation, compliance, cost management, team resources, and business objectives to develop an effective cloud enablement strategy. For instance, automation can enable organizations to reduce manual intervention and improve efficiency. As a result, you can get more done without increasing the headcount. In addition, compliance ensures that the cloud infrastructure meets regulatory requirements, while cost management helps organizations manage expenses associated with cloud adoption.

Team resources are also critical, as they influence the capacity and capability of the organization to manage the cloud infrastructure. Finally, selecting metrics is vital to aligning your cloud enablement strategy to the desired outcomes with the most positive impact on the business. Business objectives, such as YoY growth, improved ROI on tech investments, and faster go-to-market for new products, should guide the development of the cloud enablement strategy.

Your strategy serves as the blueprint for the remodeling project. It outlines the roadmap and objectives that the organization will follow to align its cloud infrastructure with its overall business objectives. A part of that roadmap will be Identifying the necessary tools, processes, and best practices to enable the organization to achieve its goals and address risks and pitfalls that could prevent success. For example, the cloud enablement strategy should identify automation opportunities and specific compliance frameworks.. This planning ensures that the cloud infrastructure is aligned with the organization's overall business objectives and operational goals, enabling it to achieve its desired outcomes.

Cloud Concerns: Automation & Orchestration

Automation is a crucial aspect of scaling a cloud environment, and organizations are increasingly adopting different tools to manage and optimize their cloud infrastructure. Some organizations even develop their own in-house tools for specialized needs. Organizations can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and ensure consistent performance by automating routine tasks such as resource provisioning, account configuration, and event response. However, the challenge for organizations is to identify the appropriate level of automation, balance automation with the need for human oversight, and integrate existing processes and tools.

If properly implemented, automation in the cloud can provide organizations with a significant opportunity to streamline their operations, reduce human error, and improve the overall performance of their cloud infrastructure, leading to greater efficiency, faster time-to-market, and a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Cloud Concerns: Financial Management

Cloud services are typically provided on a pay-as-you-go model, making financial management vital. As a result, organizations need to monitor and optimize their cloud spending to ensure they get the most value from their cloud investments while avoiding unnecessary costs.

The challenge for organizations is effectively monitoring, understanding, and managing their cloud costs in a dynamic, ever-changing environment. Sound cost management can reduce costs and increase the overall return on cloud investments. In addition, effective cost management practices, such as monitoring usage, enforcing budgets, and continuously scanning for and eliminating waste, can help organizations optimize cloud spending.

Cloud Concerns: Continuous Compliance

Compliance improves security, builds customer trust, and grants access to new markets. Yet compliance can be a draining task for security and infrastructure teams. Frequently cloud environments fall within the scope of multiple compliance standards. Ensuring they maintain compliance against those requirements is a challenge, given the agile, evolving nature of the cloud. Establishing continuous monitoring of the cloud environment and implementing preventative controls and policies that stop the drift away from compliance requirements can help organizations mitigate the risks of non-compliance while reaping the full benefits of the cloud.

The Problems Solved with Cloud Enablement

Yesterday you had to hunt around your cloud, spotting things that shouldn't be there. Discovering resources that were out of compliance with your policies was like a cross between a wild goose chase and whack-a-mole. No idea where you'll find trouble, but you know you will. And after you fix it, it'll be back again. Today, because you're enabled, you can give your people all the access they need, and only what they need, all within policy. Today, because you're enabled, you can do all that in minutes rather than weeks.

Yesterday, you picked a cloud service provider and fit your business needs to it. You sought to answer the timeless, unanswerable question: What came first, the architecture or the compliance policies? Or the available services? Today, with cloud automation and enablement, you build your cloud to fit your business. You aren't dependent on a cloud. You are enabled by your cloud, built to your needs. Need to select services a la carte across the cloud service providers? With cloud enablement you can do it without having to re-define your policies for each provider.

Yesterday, you wondered if all of your private storage buckets were truly private. You worried that your new-hire training for engineers was sufficient to keep them from leaving orphaned resources all over the cloud. You were uncertain that you'd right-sized your processing power and selected the right data stores for your needs. You really weren't sure how much any of it was going to cost. Today, because you're enabled, you tell your cloud what to do, and it does it. And if it can do anything else for you, you need only ask it. Today, your cloud turns off resources your engineers forgot about without you even asking. Today, your cloud tells you exactly where you stand with expenses. It raises alerts when there are policy issues. Today, your cloud is self-governing. Today, your cloud is self-managing. Today, your cloud can do both.

Your company has a bunch of smart people working to run your business. You shouldn't need to spend time and energy figuring out how to run your cloud. A cloud dependent company pokes around their cloud service provider, trying to govern as they go. What's been provisioned? Is something out of policy? Where'd all the money go? A cloud-enabled company evolves with the cloud, not in spite of it, calling upon their cloud to super power their organization, launching new capabilities and transforming their business. A cloud-dependent company may find some success learning how to do what they do on the cloud, managing it as best they can. A cloud-enabled company empowers their people to go farther, faster while enjoying their success for being the best at what they do. Period.

Your Cloud Enabled Team

Solving the challenges of the cloud isn’t just about technology, but also about people. By removing grunt work and unifying information, you can improve the efficiency of your team and enable them to focus on higher-value activities.

It would be theoretically impossible to scale the cloud infrastructure team linearly with the size and complexity of the cloud environment. By reducing the need for manual work and streamlining processes, organizations can scale their operations without constantly needing to add headcount. As automation enables you to scale, it is important to do so with responsible cost controls.

The impact of financial management in the cloud is significant, as cloud computing can be a double-edged sword, providing cost savings and scalability but also introducing complexity and unpredictability in billing and usage. By implementing effective financial management practices, such as analyzing usage patterns, forecasting costs, and identifying optimization opportunities, CFOs and FinOps teams can achieve better financial outcomes from their cloud investments, improve their financial governance, and gain greater control over their cloud spending.

Cloud enablement brings significant changes for the cloud operations team, particularly in terms of automating manual tasks that were previously time-consuming and resource intensive. With the ability to configure cloud accounts and provide cloud access automatically, the team can focus on unlocking new innovations and accomplishing larger projects that were previously out of reach. This not only saves time and resources but also allows the team to concentrate on more strategic initiatives that can drive the business forward. By design, cloud enablement provides greater flexibility and scalability to the team, enabling them to adapt quickly to changing business requirements and shifting market conditions.

This newfound agility from their infrastructure gives executive leadership increased discretion in growing the business. With a cloud-enabled team, executives can be more agile in their strategy, as the team can quickly respond to changes in the market and customer needs. Decision-makers enjoy a wider array of options because the business can take advantage of new technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data that can support their growth. Cloud enablement empowers executives to focus on the big picture, driving innovation, growth, and success for the business without the worries of cost and security issues that were once associated with traditional IT infrastructure.

Cloud Enabling Technologies

Kion’s power to automate and force multiply reaches much further than tools and services found in AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. Not only do we integrate with critical tools from cloud service providers like AWS Security Hub and Azure Active directory, but we also have native integrations with leading tools like ServiceNow, Splunk, Tenable.sc, and more.

Our integrations allow for seamless management of IT service requests, security and event monitoring, and identity management, allowing you to leverage best-of-breed solutions that meet specific business needs. You can find the complete list of integrations on our website, and we continue to add new integrations based on customer needs.

In addition to our integrations, Kion also offers robust API and webhook options that enable businesses to bring in additional systems and connect them to Kion. This means organizations can leverage their existing tools and systems while taking advantage of Kion's powerful cloud management capabilities.

Request a Kion demo

You want to be cloud enabled, and we want to help you get there. The first step to making this happen is to request a demo with a member of our team. We’ll show you exactly what we can do to take your company from simply being in the cloud to true complete cloud enablement.

Request a demo

About the Author

Austin Fuller

Austin has nearly a decade of experience in enterprise software and cybersecurity and is an AWS-certified cloud practitioner.

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