If you’re like 80% of enterprises, you’re somewhere along a hybrid cloud journey. The imperatives of digital transformation, the emergence of DevOps as the de facto enterprise development methodology and the rapidly growing demand for continuous innovation have made hybrid cloud the go-to infrastructure for competitive enterprises.
Despite hybrid cloud becoming the new normal, there are inherent challenges to managing these infrastructures. Not only do IT departments (and those they serve) need to adapt to different processes for provisioning public and private clouds, but they also need to ensure security and compliance across an increasingly heterogeneous cloud landscape. On top of these challenges, IT departments also need to monitor and control cloud costs and manage day-2 operations while seamlessly orchestrating private, public and on-prem systems.
To tackle these new complex challenges, you need management and automation tools, which help alleviate the security, governance, and cost-control challenges that hybrid clouds inevitably bring. But integrating them with your existing IT infrastructure (e.g., networking, security, backup, etc.) burdens your IT team with significant custom coding requirements.
So, you have your hybrid cloud, and you have your automation tools to optimize it. But now, each one of these tools—whether it’s for simple use cases such as resource naming or complex tasks such as multi-tier workload provisioning—requires integrations with dozens of underlying networking, security and backup endpoints, typically from dozens of vendors.
These integrations often require custom coding, which is arduous and time-consuming. Your IT people will be stuck writing and maintaining thousands of lines of custom code to integrate your automation tools with all of these endpoints. It’s also expensive. Research by the Standish Group shows that over half of custom-coded projects cost almost double their original estimate, while about one-fifth of custom-coded projects will be canceled before they are completed.
And the tax doesn’t end there. Governance and security become increasingly complicated and expensive because the proliferation of new tools and processes prevents IT from having a unified view of integration policies, automation playbooks and role-based access. Without the end-to-end visibility necessary to manage and monitor this proliferation of tools and processes or standardized provisioning across all IT platforms and tools, costs are only going to compound over time. Since 60% of all infrastructure outages are caused by human error, end-to-end automation and visibility are now mission-critical for enterprise organizations
But what is to be done? Organizations need hybrid cloud to meet the demands of digital transformation, and they need automation tools to effectively manage and secure hybrid clouds. Your monetary costs and governance burdens will scale along with your IT, and as your organization invests in new automation platforms, the “custom code tax” will only keep increasing. But if you want your hybrid cloud to work right, there really is no choice but to pay it.
Enterprise IT departments need to implement cloud management solutions that offer an alternative to custom coding. Cloud management that takes a policy-based, codeless approach to these integrations eliminates the need to custom-code, thus repealing the custom code tax.
Take the example of cloud management platforms (CMPs). In the past, CMPs mainly focused on management. However, the complexity of hybrid clouds now requires an equal focus on both management and integration. Software-based, low-code/no-code methods for integrating automation solutions with relevant systems not only eliminate the high costs associated with custom coding but also ensure a governed, standardized approach to integrating automation tools with networking, security and backup endpoints.
Not only will you save valuable time and budget dollars, but when your integrations are software-based and no longer rely on custom code, you will be able to apply advanced intelligence tools more easily as your organization grows and evolves. If your company wants to integrate certain tools that utilize artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, for example, you will run into obstacles trying to abstract data from custom-coded workflows. You can’t apply AI to a language that is unique in business logic because it has been custom-written. There could be a hundred thousand lines of custom code, so you would have to manually go through it all and try to figure out what’s there, who built it, why they built it and what the business logic behind it is.
In a world where multi-tool reigns supreme, the more tools you want to use, the more custom coding you have to do. Enterprises today must be able to use their tools of choice in a best-of-breed approach while maintaining standardization through a robust integration layer. Going forward, this means that cloud management platforms will need to be built around extensibility and make integration a core capability, not an expensive afterthought.
Forward-looking CIOs are choosing software-based solutions to enable multi-tool to work seamlessly in hybrid cloud environments. This results in lowers costs, better governance, and more robust security, especially as organizations advance their hybrid cloud journey.
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