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Four Reasons Cloud Computing Requires a Different Kind of IT

Enterprises are increasingly prioritizing cloud computing when it comes to improving productivity, increasing security, removing maintenance and troubleshooting burdens from IT professionals. The cloud offers many benefits, but it also requires that IT take a step back and adjust some of their functions of management.

Take a look at four reasons why cloud computing needs modernization in the IT department:

Contract management: Particularly in cases where hybrid cloud is the preferred environment, the management of contracts and vendor relationships requires ample attention. This tends to be more of an issue among small- and mid-size companies, where it’s unlikely that there’s a legal department or dedicated contract managers to handle service level agreements (SLAs) and other details.

It’s important to stay on top of vendor contracts, making sure you have a copy of each one and that it is current. Next, create a timeline with the due date of each contract so that you know when it’s time to consider any shifts or adjustments at renewal time. Make note of the SLAs and disaster recovery responsibilities for each vendor. Finally, assign vendor and contract management responsibility to a member of your IT team.

Asset management: When your systems are on-premises, it’s hard enough to keep track of all of your software, hardware and networks, but when cloud computing comes on the scene, the complexity multiplies. How can you keep track of your resources when some are in-house and others are housed with vendors?

There are asset management software options that you place on your network to discover the internal assets so that you can monitor and update them as needed. While there are no global management systems that will aggregate all of your assets from various clouds, you can manually add these to your solution so that they can be tracked.

Shadow IT: The growth of cloud computing brings with it ease and convenience of tapping into solutions and resources, but that also makes it easier for employees to enter into a cloud contract or build their own apps without your IT team’s involvement. It’s nearly impossible for IT to manage what they don’t even know is out there, never mind the scope of the security issues this creates.

This is another situation where a centralized asset management system can help because it will auto-discover new resources as they show up on your corporate network. You can also spend time working with line-of-business managers on an annual basis to learn their IT plans and catalog any assets that aren’t already in your management system. This meeting will reinforce the philosophy that your department is the gatekeeper for cloud computing, and that their utilization of a cloud resource should come through you.

Disaster recovery: Some IT teams have disaster recovery plans in place, but they may not have been tested and they may not have been created with cloud vendors’ involvement. IT teams need to know the specifics of what their vendor has agreed to in terms of data or system outages, and then they need to evaluate risks and then manage those risks for a cloud-based outage. Develop a disaster recovery plan and then test it with the vendor. Disaster recovery with vendors will look different than it did when all of your systems were in-house, and that comes with some added risk.

For more guidance on adapting your IT strategy to cloud computing, contact usat Net Tel One Communications. We can help you prioritize the right areas to ensure that the management of your cloud solutions is streamlined and cost-effective.

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