Graeme O'driscoll
Graeme O'driscoll Head: Software Engineering

Many CIOs can say that they’ve migrated a good portion of their workloads to the cloud. It’s a development that’s occurred over the last five years, and for the most part, is thanks to the increasingly intuitive design of cloud platforms. “Visibility and intuitive design is the holy grail of cloud computing,” says Managing Director at Internet Solutions, Saki Missaikos.

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But why has visibility been such a cornerstone for cloud computing, and why is it so important for your business?

Diagnosing and optimising your workload for maximum productivity

“Cloud computing is incredibly powerful, cost-effective and infinitely scalable, but there’s still a lot of complexity around navigating through various cloud platforms. The entire experience needs to be made a lot more intuitive if CIOs are to embrace cloud computing in its entirety,” suggests Missaikos.

“Visibility is a remedy to cloud computing’s ‘black hole’ where data goes in, and you never see it again. Quite frankly, it is a necessity for any cloud service provider,” says Missaikos. It means the CIO is no longer reliant on the service provider to diagnose problems, suggest solutions and effect changes – a backwards approach when you consider that the CIO should have a far better understanding of the intimate factors affecting a workload and the metrics that matter most.

It’s easier to migrate and monitor your workload than ever before

Workloads aren’t just easier to optimise or diagnose on a visible platform, but easier to migrate to. “Dropbox or One Drive are perfect examples of how easy it’s become to make use of the cloud. It couldn’t be easier to store important data online, instantly making it mobile and more readily accessible by more people.”

Now imagine once uploaded to Dropbox you couldn’t see your data. Who would make use of the service? CIOs need to trust the platform hosting an application which is vital to maintaining their business. “Previously, anything you uploaded to the cloud would disappear into a black hole, and CIOs were understandably cautious about using such a service. Now, they can see exactly where it is and how it’s functioning,” notes Missaikos. “The understanding of what you’re getting; the performance, the peaks and troughs and thresholds are something you expect from any workload, and you’ll only get that from a visible platform.”

Convenience is king

If CIOs are to align their IT solutions with their business goals, they need a much more user-friendly experience. “In essence, CIOs are going to be a lot more successful when the cloud provider makes their platform more intuitive and its various metrics more visible than they are today,” says Missaikos. Convenience and simplicity should not be underestimated. It’s a time saver and plays a big role in boosting productivity. Consider the fact that much technology today is so widely adopted because it’s a lot more intuitive. “Apple and Android, for example, have made it so easy for practically anyone to use the technology, and demand has skyrocketed as a result.”

Security means keeping an eye on your platform

A successful cyberattack has the potential to devastate your organisation, so it’s not without some risk that you migrate your workloads to the cloud. “The fact is, no platform is 100% secure, but there are measures that can be taken, like building a platform from the ground up with security in mind, rather than as an add-on,” argues Missaikos. Visibility means being able to compare the various security offerings of platforms against one another, giving you the insight you need to make the best possible decision.

There’s also another key benefit to visibility. Visibility means potentially spotting weaknesses in a provider’s security and reporting them, for the best possible protection. Without that visibility, and a rapport that comes with it, you’re completely in the dark about what is and isn’t secure.

Getting the most value for your buck

Want the best possible price? “You need to be able to benchmark various platforms against one another and, ultimately, compare their price points,” says Missaikos. Without that context, it’s virtually impossible to garner the best possible value for money. “Without that visibility, how will you know when you’ve got idle resources (that you’re still paying for) or that customers are being turned away (due to a poor experience or unresponsive platform)? That’s going to lose you money,” Missaikos points out.

A more intimate understanding of service providers

Above all, it’s about absolute governance and compliance. “How will a platform assure a CIO that rogue changes won’t be made to the backend processes without their say-so? What is a platform’s capacity planning, or do they even have any such plans in place? How is a service provider handling security at each individual layer? These are the sorts of key questions CIOs want to know. They’re also questions that can only be answered through visibility of a platform,” says Missaikos.

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