When every company in every industry is impacted by digitization, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that the expectations from software organizations are on an incremental path. Owing to the fast-changing market conditions and constantly changing consumer demands, applications have to go to market faster. To enable this, the IT teams have to provide the required resources to the internal teams in a timely manner for them to deliver the apps on time. Until now, IT leveraged the on-premises infrastructures to enable this. However, considering we are in the time when organizations need to be extremely agile, enterprises are looking at the cloud. With the cloud, enterprises can move away from old technologies and legacy processes. Cloud allows them to better support the business needs of their customers, respond to market challenges and dynamics with ease, and enable greater productivity within the organization. The cloud also enables agility by breaking down barriers that aid innovation and offers easy resource provisioning. Owing to the immense benefits that the Cloud provides, cloud computing is projected to increase to $162B in 2020.
The Need for Cloud Management
With the rise in cloud adoption, IT teams are facing the other challenges of maintaining service levels standards, controlling risks, and managing costs . As organizations increasingly look towards the cloud to get work done faster and launch products into the market with greater speed, it becomes imperative to control VM sprawl, contain unmanaged resources and control costs that can quickly escalate if the public and private cloud infrastructure provisionings are done too fast and without a future-ready framework. With the expanding diversity of cloud resources, the complexity to manage and control them using IT resources is also increasing. Enterprises want to leverage the great benefits of the cloud, maintain control over the cloud resources, and manage cloud costs within a secure and structured environment without slowing down the speed of innovation.
In order to deliver on the promise of speed and agility, the Cloud has to be managed effectively. Enterprises leveraging the cloud have to ensure that they have the right systems and processes needed for agile service delivery and they have access to all the tools to manage the cloud. They also have to ascertain that all VM machines are being used optimally and that IT does not spend time just chasing request tickets. Scalr CEO & Founder, Sebastian Stadil, very rightly says “Rarely does an organization wake up one day, decide it needs a strategy, and then adopt cloud. It’s usually the reverse.” A good cloud management solution proposes a method to the cloud madness.
Many organizations are also taking the cloud-first approach for developing new business applications. In order to do so successfully, they have to manage multiple public and private clouds to ensure compliance with company policies and reduce risks. Given that the cloud creates high expectations within the enterprise, the internal cloud users demand service in minutes – and not in weeks or days. If an organization is using manual processes to manage these cloud services, it can take weeks to complete a deployment and eventually even put the user outside IT control and create shadow IT problems. The only way to meet these expectations and to realize the benefits of the cloud, enterprises have to look at a comprehensive cloud management solution that gives them complete visibility and control without compromising on governance irrespective of the underlying cloud provider.
Cloud Management with ServiceNow
Keeping these challenges that the enterprises face with cloud adoption, ServiceNow launched ServiceNow Cloud Management. With ServiceNow Cloud Management enterprises can simplify the entire cloud services lifecycle by creating a cloud environment that is on-demand, improves resource utilization, fast tracks service requests, provisioning, and approvals and drives down resource costs. Some of the key benefits of ServiceNow Cloud Management can be listed out as follows:
Faster delivery of cloud services
ServiceNow Cloud Management enables faster delivery of cloud services by leveraging the Standardized Self-Service Catalog. This service allows users to select the services they want without having to worry about the complexity of underlying cloud environments. ServiceNow also automates the end-to-end delivery of cloud resources by using the ServiceNow ConfigurationManagement Database (CMDB). This helps in tracking change management, resource provisioning, approval routing, and Configuration Items (CIs). Additionally, the Cloud User Portal experience built on ServiceNow Service Portal technology allows users to personalize the service catalog to not only launch new services and lifecycle operations of individual resources and stacks but also manage consumption against costs, usage and quotas. This also helps in solving the shadow IT problem by eliminating the proliferation of non‑sanctioned cloud services.
Enterprises can minimize the risks associated with public clouds with federated access and strict governance guardrails around public cloud consoles. Users who need access are provided the same from within ServiceNow by leveraging a time and security-limited access token. This also provides auditable access to actions performed in the cloud console. With ServiceNow Cloud Management, IT does not need to manage role-based security on a per-cloud basis as all security policies are defined once within ServiceNow and uniformly applied across the cloud network.
With ServiceNow Cloud Management, enterprises can get a complete and unified view of all their cloud resources, the costs, and ownership. Enterprises can define, administer, and measure workflows with ease and provision their cloud resources more effectively and efficiently. With the dependency views, enterprises can easily visualize the cloud resources and services, analyze usage across the network, compute and storage, and accordingly optimize their spending and make better decisions for business services. Since the Configuration Items (CIs) and how they relate to services and resources are displayed in ServiceNow, in the case of an impact, users can get detailed visibility into the impact of any issues or incidents on applications, nodes and/or services.
One of the major promises of the cloud is the cost benefit. However, this cost-benefit mainly stems from optimal resource utilization. ServiceNow Cloud Management enables budgeting predictability and optimal resource utilization by providing a single, unified view of all costs and resources. Enterprises can get a clear breakdown of usage and costs for their private and public cloud resources according to users, cost centers, and business services. With its extensive lease management capabilities, ServiceNow Cloud Management allows administrators to track demands for different cloud services and identify underutilized services with precision.
The ServiceNow Cloud Management application provides integration solutions with Microsoft Azure, VMware, and AWS along with offering provider-specific integrations that use a common set of features and models. It also gives enterprises the flexibility to customize Cloud Management Providers by defining keys for the extension points, customize the workflows that manage VM provisioning, and define the process for ordering a resource in the service catalog using Virtualization Provider handlers.
ServiceNow Cloud Management takes the complexity out of cloud management and allows organizations to deploy cloud services with ease.
InfoBeans is a ServiceNow technology partner and Microsoft Azure Gold Partner. We have helped several organizations manage their cloud services using Azure and ServiceNow solutions. Connect with our ServiceNow and Azure experts to see how you can optimize the benefits of the cloud using the right set of technologies.