Multi-Cloud Blog

What Is CloudOps? CloudOps Explained

3 minute read
Rick Bosworth

CloudOps is shorthand for cloud operations, the managerial practice and activities relating to the delivery and optimization of IT services and workloads run in the public cloud. CloudOps includes the definition and ongoing refinement of business processes and methods to optimize the availability, flexibility, and efficiency of cloud services so that the business can successfully execute its mission. CloudOps is the incubator for business agility.

The rise of Cloud Centers of Excellence. You may wonder, “Why would there be a separate team dedicated to IT operations in the cloud? I mean, why wouldn’t they just be in IT operations?” Sometimes, CloudOps is within IT Operations. More often, however, organizations have specialized cloud centers of excellence, or Cloud COE, consisting of cloud experts from cross-functional disciplines such as cloud architecture, cloud services, IT operations, security, and compliance. The Cloud COE exists as a tacit acknowledgement that the people, processes, and technologies used to deliver on-premises IT operations simply do not translate to the unique needs of the cloud. To punctuate this point, according to the Flexera 2019 State of the Cloud Report 66% of enterprises already have a Cloud COE, with another 21% planning one.

The cloud is a hotbed of innovation. Considering the rapid innovation which the cloud enables, it is not surprising then that according to SiriusDecisions 78% of organizations have adopted agile methods for product development1 . It is both the developmental sandbox and production epicenter for armies of 2-pizza scrum teams continuously updating their microservices which reside in the cloud. These developers push updates to PROD multiple times daily, across multiple cloud service providers (CSPs) and hundreds of accounts, delivering innovative business services to their customers. A single microservice can contain hundreds of cloud resources, so it is easy to see that the scale and blistering pace of change is far beyond human scale.

Cloud COE must define solution requirements, optimize processes, and manage daily cloud operations which enable this agility, not hamstring it. And therein lay the challenge.

The challenges of CloudOps. The Cloud COE face a monumental task in making sure their entire enterprise is “cloud smart” instead of simply “cloud first.” For many, accelerating agility without addressing the underlying challenges means, unfortunately, increasing the capacity to break glass.

  • Wasted cloud spend. Overprovisioned or idle assets frivolously set precious budget on fire. Estimates of wasted spend range from 25% all the way up to 90%. While the extremes are the exception, 35-40% is a more likely the norm.
  • Budget overruns. By the time you get that unwelcome surprise bill from your CSP, it’s too late. The liability is on the books. By some estimates, 80% of enterprises are overspent. Half of enterprises spend at least $1.2M annually on public cloud, and 13% spend $12M or more2.
    Despite the financial risks, public cloud IaaS and PaaS segments are growing north of 26% annually3. Slowing down is not an option, but neither is blasting through expense forecasts.
  • Limited governance. Distributed autonomy to purchase and use cloud has impaired visibility and governance. Cloud consumptions in the shadows has quite likely contributed to the cost problems, and it most certainly has contributed to security and compliance issues.
  • Security risk. The public cloud is not inherently insecure, though each cloud resource must be appropriately configured if it is to be secure. In the 2019 Cloud Security Report, 93% of enterprises are moderately to extremely concerned about cloud security, so much so that 55% expect to deploy a new cloud security solution within the next 12 months4.

Change is a must. Managing our cloud operations by looking in the rear view is no way to run a business while you accelerate its reinvention. By the time a security leak reaches the news, or a 10x monthly cloud bill arrives, the financial damage is done. CloudOps must be predictive and proactive if it is to be successful. We need fewer tools, so that it is easier for application owners to manage their budget and security, while providing CloudOps the governance necessary to accelerate business agility on sensible guardrails.

There is a solution.Cloud Operations Management, from BMC, is a unified cloud management suite using policy-based governance to optimize cost and enhance security for cloud applications and workloads. App-level views, together with machine learning and built-in automation, enable service owners to proactively manage budget and security. No more budget crises. Radically diminished risk. Greater cloud ROI. With better cost performance and security posture, service owners have real incentives to work with the Cloud COE. Turns out, governance and agility are not mutually exclusive after all.

1 SiriusDecisions Summit 2019,
2 Flexera 2019 State of the Cloud Report
3 Gartner,
4 Cybersecurity-Insiders, 2019 Cloud Security Report

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Rick Bosworth

Rick Bosworth is a Director of Marketing at BMC Software, developing marketing, content, and growth strategies for IT security solutions, with special emphasis on public cloud. Rick has over 15 years of global product marketing and product management experience, defining and launching high tech B2B solutions. A lifelong learner, Rick earned an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin and a BSEE from Texas A&M University. He enjoys travel, adventurous dining, and endurance athletics, especially triathlon.