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Management platforms help healthcare orgs make sense of new cloud landscape

Among other things, enterprises can use a cloud management platform to closely track and manage cloud costs to stay within budget.

Jeff Rowe | May 11, 2018 12:00 am

As organizations across healthcare and other sectors incorporate hybrid and multi-cloud environments into their IT plans, they’re increasingly looking for third-party cloud management platforms to help with the management of their array of cloud resources.

But as tech insider Stuart Burns recently cautioned, “before you go all-in with a tool, carefully map out your requirements for resource provisioning, cost optimization, user access and other key cloud management features.”

In his view, IT managers tasked with choosing a cloud management platform need to be able to answer three key questions:  What are we trying to achieve? How are we going to doing it? Why are we doing it?

On the achievement question, he says, “(I)t’s OK to start small. For example, your enterprise might want to focus first on the implementation of self-service capabilities. A cloud management tool could help you achieve this through the use of pre-made templates, which users could access to launch resources.”

Beyond that, he notes the importance of defining “who in your organization will have access to the tool and to the resources it supports. . . . Deconstruct your requirements into the following areas for each business group that needs access:

    •    Consumers: the end users, project managers and developers within each group who need access to cloud resources;

    •    Managers: the individuals who manage and approve the consumers' requests; and

    •    Business administrators: the individuals who provide access to cloud resources, as well as manage access to resource templates to ensure the consumers use the desired configurations.”

In addition, he says, managers need to get a firm grip on resource consumption and workflows, and he notes, “each cloud management platform you evaluate might handle this task differently. Primarily, enterprises need to determine the amount of CPU, memory and disk that users and their workloads can consume, on a group-by-group basis.”

Finally, he says, before committing to a cloud management platform, “be sure to experiment fully with the product and all its associated features. Familiarity is critical before you use any platform in production.”