Achieving Cloud Cost Optimization Through Strategy and Governance

Secure Server Workspace and Protection Against Cybercrime with WatServ

Achieving Cloud Cost Optimization Through Strategy and Governance

By watservadmin
April 28, 2021

Cloud cost optimization is a popular and at times controversial topic of discussion. Part of the reason for this is because optimization is often understood as merely a way to bring costs down and meet business KPIs. However, this type of framing oversimplifies the conversation by situating cloud optimization as a tactical conversation, rather than a strategic one.

At WatServ, our cloud cost optimization methodology is an ongoing, iterative process that incorporates efficiencies from both strategic cloud planning and operational-level cost management tools and tactics. It also recognizes governance as an important component that affects outcomes – ensuring policies and processes are proactively defined to govern and implement cost improvements. In fact, we have found that cloud cost optimization is most successful when the process goes beyond simply reducing costs, and includes a look at ownership, collaboration, innovation and accountability from both the partner and client perspectives, in order to drive efficiencies.

With deep experience in guiding cost management strategies, WatServ has developed innovative practices that can be used to address a wide range of cost challenges. Below is a sample, with common cost management challenges on the left and examples of our mitigation approaches on the right.

Common Challenges and WatServ’s Demonstrated Mitigation Strategies

We commonly hear:

What we might suggest…

How do I stay on top of right-sizing my existing infrastructure?

Establish accountability for a data-driven approach 

Create accountability in your organization for assessing performance monitoring and server management data. Empower staff on your team with the right skills to leverage WatServ’s cloud management tools and reporting to drive actions on cost containment such as resource scaling and resource re-allocation.

I am trying to keep on top of day to day dollars, but how can I effectively bring our annual projection of infrastructure costs down?

Align on long-term goals for your cloud platform and create an imperative for change 

Establish a clear perspective on where the organization is heading with respect to its cloud strategy. Ensure that there has has been a thorough assessment of operations and applications and align leadership on the end-state goal. We recommend working with your advisors to develop a long-term roadmap that identifies clear, compelling cost improvements.

How can I mobilize our organization and resources to make impactful cost improvements?

Create a sustainable cost management process 

Delivering cost improvements with lasting impact requires the wider organizational ecosystem to reinforce the change. Establish effective governance processes to ensure cost recommendations are being implemented, and create a proactive set of parameters and policies to manage consumption, limit costs and provide transparency.

Need assistance optimizing your cloud? WatServ’s team is here to help. Speak with one of our cloud engineers to explore your options. Reach out today.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with 1000’s of users connecting from around the world, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

In 2021, Is the Public Cloud Secure?

Public Cloud Migration and Security with WatServ

In 2021, Is the Public Cloud Secure?

By Otto Aulicino, Director, Information Security
April 2, 2021

For as many years as the public cloud has been around, so has been the debate over whether or not it’s secure.

When AWS launched in 2006 and Azure shortly thereafter in 2008, the public cloud was considered uncharted territory. IT professionals didn’t know whether to trust it or be weary. This was much like in the early 2000s when virtualization technologies became financially possible for smaller organizations, yet many companies chose to stick with physical servers. It was only after years of repeated use and testing did organizations view the technology as safe and worthy of adoption.

We’re seeing a similar trend with the public cloud. As more companies test and adopt the technology, it has matured and established a strong foothold in the market. However, despite the trend towards widespread adoption, some IT professionals continue to approach it with skepticism.

Here are answers to three questions often asked about public cloud security.

1. “When it comes to security, is the public cloud weaker than on-premise implementations?”

This is a large and deeply debated topic. To cut to the chase: No. In our opinion, the public cloud is not weaker than on-premise implementations. Sure, this may have been the case years ago, but today, the public cloud has matured considerably.

The strength of technical and non-technical controls offered by public cloud service providers like Azure, Google Cloud Platform and AWS is significantly higher than most on-premise implementations. Even if you compare the public cloud to large data center providers, the public cloud has more security features implemented lower in the technology stack by default, which are “invisible” to customers (if you consider the shared responsibility model). As a result, customers are required to manage more controls on data center implementations.

2. “In my own data center implementation, I’m in control of security. So, doesn’t that mean I can make it more secure than a public cloud service?”

If you’re in control of your environment in a data center setting, yes, you can theoretically definitely make it more secure than anywhere else. However, seldom do companies do so. In fact, studies show that organizations rarely dedicate enough resources to do even 50% of what the public cloud service providers do in terms of security measures. Additionally, public providers are heavily certified – much more so than most customers or data center providers could ever achieve.

The major security risk of the public cloud lies in the fact that customers often believe once their workloads (or data) are in the cloud, they are secure – which is not true. Customers often forget that security controls are not “out of the box” in the public cloud, and instead are the customer’s responsibility as per the shared responsibility model. If this is not managed properly, it can result in major gaps and vulnerabilities, ready to be exploited by hackers. To put this into context: According to Gartner, by 2025, 99% of the cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.

3. “Is the public cloud attacked more frequently?”

As its name implies, the public cloud is public. So, by its very nature, the public cloud is more exposed. In one sense, as the public cloud becomes home for big brands and companies, one can argue that these big brands are putting a target on the back of their cloud service provider. Yet, on the other hand, as service providers become a target, they’ve also evolved at an impressive pace. The threat of attacks, intrusion attempts and so on has spurred innovation to improve defense controls to the extent that it’s now hard to match the level of experience outside of a public cloud provider.

In conclusion, if you’re considering a move to the cloud and have questions about its security, you’re not alone. Although the cloud has proven to be the best option for many companies, it’s important to understand public cloud’s shared responsibility model and put in place a robust security plan before making the move. With those pieces in place, the cloud can offer a highly secure, resilient – and not to mention cost effective – environment that will benefit you today and over the long term.

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Need help managing your cloud security and operations? Our team of cloud security experts can help. Contact us today to get started.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with 1000’s of users connecting from around the world, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.