DevOps Stage 1 – Build A Strong Cloud Foundation With 3 Critical Steps

DevOps Stage 1 – Build A Strong Cloud Foundation With 3 Critical Steps

devops cloud foundation

Journey to Enterprise Digital Transformation: Part I of IV

Ed Keen, Burwood Group

DevOps Stage 1 – It seems like everyone wants to digitally transform their business for greater adaptability, flexibility, and cost-savings. However, it’s incredible how many companies attempt to use new, fast, and frequently changing technology to solve their problems, only to stall or fail. That’s because they often don’t take the necessary care in planning their transformation journey. And for most organizations, their journey starts with moving to the cloud.

While moving to the cloud sounds great, many organizations experience widely different outcomes depending on how diligently they define their strategy and build a robust cloud platform. Let’s take a quick look at three critical areas you’ll need to focus on to ensure your success.

Centralize Identity and Access Management
As much as you can, you need to centralize your identity management by integrating your on-premises directories to your cloud. However, synchronizing highly privileged accounts or large numbers of passwords should be avoided. When passwords require synchronizing to the cloud (and some will be), ensure they are encrypted or hashed and not easily visible. Start by synchronizing small groups and then expand as needed. You should also enable single sign-on early on, rather than as an afterthought. That way, users don’t have to remember multiple accounts or passwords or links. There are numerous third-party providers for single sign-on that are cloud-ready too. Make sure they are using SAML 2.0.

Establish Organizational Policies
You’ll need to enable policies for people, processes, and technologies for a well-governed and more secure cloud. Make sure you have separate accounts for daily tasks versus administrative tasks, and for all highly-privileged accounts, you will need to enable multifactor authentication. Many platforms allow regular audits and automatic alerts if administrative accounts are being over-used in daily work—something you should avoid. And when it comes to technology policies for your cloud platforms, you should centralize the control of your entire cloud footprint and take advantage of in-build tools for strict policy enforcement around things like using cloud tags or Private IPs example.

Optimize Your Cloud Costs

As you move to the cloud, you’ll be expanding services to other departments or projects. Establishing a centralized billing and reporting dashboard will help you to correctly assign the costs to different projects or departments for an appropriate chargeback. Using correct tags for policy enforcement of cloud tagging is critical to chargeback success. You should also use the budgeting and alerting functions in most cloud platforms to notify you when cloud spend is approaching pre-set limits or when use will cause budget overruns. Also, consider using the cost-savings recommendations provided by the platform. Many platforms offer suggestions on how you could save each month based on your usage. It is wise to look at those recommendations to ensure you’re not paying for under-utilized resources or services.

While these three areas are vital to starting your successful digital transformation and journey to the cloud, they are hardly the only ones you need to focus on. For more detailed information on these three areas and more, watch the webcast version of this blog post, all about establishing a robust cloud platform. In this webcast delivered by Burwood Group, experts in enterprise cloud and devops enablement, you’ll get a deeper dive into six critical areas needed to establish a robust cloud platform.

Learn all six steps to building a cloud foundation in our YouTube webcast.

Like any journey, taking the first step is the most important. When it comes to your organization’s digital transformation journey, that first step needs to be building a strong, secure cloud platform.

Next Steps

Take a closer look at all aspects of digital transformation by reading the next article in this four-blog series covering best practices for digital transformation in the enterprise. 

  • Part I: Building a reliable and governed cloud foundation
  • Part II: Adopting DevOps culture and tooling
  • Part III: Secure the cloud with DevSecOps
  • Part IV: Gaining new insights with data intelligence

Do you prefer video? This blog series is based on a four-part webcast training hosted by NADOG and Burwood Group. View each webcast on YouTube using these links: Cloud Foundations, DevOps, DevSecOps, and Data Intelligence.

Ed Keen is Director of Cloud and DevOps at Burwood Group. Ed has broad experience across software development, operations, and cloud computing. He leads Burwood’s Google and Azure cloud practices, encompassing cloud enablement, application modernization, and migration. In complementary fashion, Ed leads Burwood’s DevOps tooling and practices to help Burwood customers evolve from traditional infrastructure to a software-defined approach to technology delivery. 

When away from his computer, Ed enjoys brewing beer, running, and riding bikes around North Carolina with his wife and two young kids.

Connect with Ed: LinkedIn | Twitter