Enterprise Architecture (EA) and engineering teams have traditionally stayed away from developing cloud optimization capabilities and processes due to the lack of real-time data to support adaptations.

But cloud services change the game. The cloud can provide the robust monitoring, data capture, and analytics tools that enable EA teams and solutions engineers to look further upstream and design, build, and migrate solutions optimized for specific needs from the beginning.

To do this efficiently, a central Cloud Optimization Strategy (COS) is needed to govern cloud practices and direct the journey to cloud maturity.

2 Key Advantages Of A COS

The COS acts as a central framework to direct the development of solutions and workloads. It comprises governance practices and standard processes to monitor and manage cloud needs, efficiencies, and performance. An efficient COS bestows 2 key process advantages:

  • Transparency. Cloud tools enable precise data capture, accurate performance evaluations, and analytics capabilities that translate raw data into relevant learnings and insights.
  • Agility. Comprehensive data is leveraged to standardize templates, designs, and metrics, and accelerate optimization. Planning, engineering, and evaluation cycles move faster, fostering strategic and operational agility.

Operational Benefits Of Cloud Optimization Strategies

COS process advantages create both “hard” and “soft” benefits that strengthen the business case for sustained cloud investment and engagement.

“Hard” benefits are passive. They are easily quantified and quickly realized post migration, but do not contribute to further cloud growth:

  • Reduced procurement, maintenance, and refresh costs for hardware and software
  • Minimized or eliminated on-prem facilities costs, such as:
    • OPEX: electricity and real estate maintenance
    • CAPEX infrastructure: generators, cooling systems, air handlers, UPS, fire suppression
    • Cost-savings from reorganized supply chains and managed services
    • Enhanced labor efficiency with automation

“Soft” benefits are active. Though less tangible, they provide enterprises with the competencies to implement changes and improve business outcomes:

  • Automated, rapidly scaled services that evolve up and down to match consumption
  • Modular microservices accelerate time-to-market, reduce complexity, and minimize disruption with gradual development procedures
  • Diverse tech services and cloud-native applications provide flexible optimization options
  • Metrics-based resource visibility enables granular monitoring and management of cost efficiencies

Building your Cloud Optimization Strategy

COS best practices, processes, and governance must be applied across 3 interdependent operational levers to be effective.

Commercial optimization involves negotiating contracts, agreements, and discounts with Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) to maximize efficiencies and achieve business outcomes. Commercial optimization occurs both pre- and post-migration.

  • Set terms with enterprise-wide capabilities in mind and based on realistic capacity and planned services forecasts
  • Optimize continuously with an eye for best-in-class service terms and competitive pricing
  • Monitor resource usage at every stage of the lifecycle to ensure you only pay for what you need
  • Schedule regular check-ins to verify expected charges and confirm discounts are applied on time

Traditionally associated with EA and engineering teams, technical optimization involves building optimal solutions and managing resource use via cloud design and development processes.

  • Replace legacy applications and infrastructure with improved, cloud-efficient options
  • Re-architect applications to leverage newfound elastic and automated cloud infrastructure
  • Use captured performance data to create and optimize reusable designs and standardized solutions
  • Re-factor applications for PaaS options, containers, and functions to maximize infrastructure efficiencies and balance development with vendor services
  • Focus engineering efforts on developing cloud-native designs wherever possible

Provider optimization involves the consideration of business needs, vendor strengths, service requirements, and business objectives to create service synergies and minimize friction between CSPs.

  • Collate findings from the Commercial and Technical Levers to establish ground rules for CSP selection. Each engagement should consider the following:
    • What does each discount program drive and how does it contribute to targeted enterprise synergies?
    • What are the provider’s technical strengths (e.g. SQL servers and Windows generally run cheaper on Azure) and how do they contribute to your enterprise cost savings?
    • Which providers bring the most value to your cloud solutions backlog – both in the migration sequence and development queue?
  • Continually monitor and optimize workloads across providers by adjusting infrastructure, remediating contracts, and repositioning with alternative vendors as needed

Although EA and engineering teams have traditionally focused on the technical aspects of development, they will increasingly take charge of cloud migration planning, target application topography, and CSP selection in addition to design and deployment.

Have a question? Just ask.

Wavestone experts can help pinpoint your cloud enterprise needs and meet them with an effective Cloud Optimization Strategy.