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Control in the cloud: the 3 most important points

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Author: Simon Kilchmann

Category: Business / IT infrastructure / Cloud

December 14, 2021

Afraid of losing control after cloud migration? In this blog post, Xelon CEO and Swiss cloud pioneer Michael Dudli addresses the control aspect of cloud infrastructures and explains how IT service providers can overcome the challenges related to control in the cloud. 

As described in our blog post on the cost side of the cloud, most IT service providers now want the system administrator to be able to set up servers in the cloud independently. To a certain extent, this leads to a loss of control, because who now controls and approves how many servers are created at which customer? Who has the responsibility for the purchased service and who releases the invoice? If someone creates a server in a customer system or adds more CPU, more disks to a server in a customer tenant - who ensures that this is charged on to the customer? How can it be guaranteed that the process is right internally so that the right invoice is triggered to the customer at the end of the month? 

 

According to Xelon CEO and Swiss cloud pioneer Michael Dudli, there are three challenges related to control in the cloud, which we have summarized here. 

 

These are the biggest challenges around control in the cloud  

In this blog post, IT service providers learn how to manage costs in the cloud. "One topic that probably the whole world is talking about when it comes to cloud infrastructure is the cost aspect. In my opinion, there are three reasons why the cost of cloud infrastructure is such a big issue," says Michael Dudli. He has summarized these reasons for us: 

 

  • Control: Essentially, as a system administrator - whether with a hyperscaler like Azure or an on-premises provider like Xelon - you can set up a server in the portal. In comparison, with on-prem infrastructure, there was the process of hardware procurement. Now, most IT service providers want the system administrator to be able to do it themselves. To a certain extent, this leads to a loss of control, because who now controls and approves how many servers are created at which customer? 
  • Reporting: Who controls this at the end of the month, who releases the invoice and who ultimately takes the main responsibility? 
  • Billing: If someone creates a server in a customer system or adds more CPU, more hard disks to a server in a customer tenant - who ensures that this is charged on to the customer? How can it be guaranteed that the process is really correct internally so that the correct invoice is triggered to the customer at the end of the month? 

 

Xelon CEO Michael also has tips on how IT service providers can overcome the challenges associated with cloud infrastructure costs. Here you can find out which points should be considered. 

 

Costs of cloud infrastructures: These 3 points IT service providers must consider  

"Point 1 revolves around a lack of trust, or rather the building of trust, which of course has to take place first. As a customer, you are giving away your data, a lot of assets and important operational systems. It's important that you can trust your cloud infrastructure provider," Michael explains.  

Would you like to know what requirements a good cloud provider should meet? Here you will find a checklist. 

"Point 2 concerns costs, whereby it is often not yet entirely clear how billing now takes place in the cloud. How does it work with hourly billing, consumption-based pricing and so on? There is a great deal of uncertainty in this regard," says the Xelon CEO. 

Point 3 is the loss of control in terms of service ownership. In the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) models, IT service providers hand over responsibility for the hardware and virtualization layers. With the purchase of IaaS and PaaS, these layers lie with the cloud infrastructure provider - with all the advantages and disadvantages. "The disadvantage is certainly the loss of control. You can no longer control every cable. Which in turn is an advantage: You no longer have to check every cable and install hard disks yourself. When they first come into contact with service ownership, many Swiss IT service providers are not completely aware of what it means for them. It is often unclear what they will or will not have to face and what will ultimately change for them," says Michael. 

 

Case study: IT service provider diverto outsourced its IT infrastructure 

diverto is an IT systems integrator from the Bern region that had operated two data centers of its own until a few years ago. "However, diverto realized that service ownership of the lower part (network, data center, hardware) was far too large and far too expensive, i.e. it tied up too many resources. That's why diverto decided to outsource the entire infrastructure and have it operated by Xelon," reports Michael Dudli. Before the cloud migration, diverto and Xelon worked out in close collaboration what level of service ownership should be aimed for. Read the full case study here. 

Further resources about control in the cloud are available in our free e-book "The little cloud 101 for IT service providers". Download now! 

 

How IT service providers benefit from a cloud migration 

Are you still unsure whether you should take the step into the cloud? Here is an overview of the biggest advantages of a cloud migration for IT service providers. 

 

  • Cost efficiency: Instead of stockpiling performance with your own bare metal server and having little scope for expansion, the cloud enables you to set up and operate a precisely tailored IT environment. Thanks to the purchase of cloud services, the portfolio can be expanded without large investment costs and the customer's change requests can be implemented within a very short time. Cloud services are often offered in an attractive pay-as-you-go payment model. Monthly billing based on actual use is easy on the budget of IT service providers and end customers. 
  • Maximum data protection: In the event of IT disasters such as cyber-attacks, major fires or floods, end customers do not lose any valuable data because it is stored externally. 
  • Better customer relationship: Reselling cloud services generates recurring revenue because the services are usually purchased on a monthly basis. In addition, customer loyalty is deepened because the IT service provider can offer a wider choice and design individual solutions in collaboration with the end customer. 
  • More market share: Depending on the customer's goals, budget and innovation potential, cloud resellers can also up-sell or cross-sell to increase their market share. 
  • Time savings: With the purchase of cloud services, as mentioned above, there is no need to set up your own hardware. The IT service provider is therefore no longer responsible for regular hardware revisions and permanently ensuring the ideal conditions for server rooms. 
  • Scalability: According to consulting firm Accenture, cloud technology means businesses of all sizes can "scale and adapt quickly, accelerate innovation, drive agility, streamline operations and reduce costs." Growing businesses rely on being able to adapt their IT environment within a short period of time. Reasons may include new customers, additional projects or hiring new team members. Cloud services enable IT service providers to expand their customers' infrastructure at the click of a mouse and implement changes flexibly. 
  • Plus points with potential employees: Agile teams need a flexible and stable IT infrastructure. It must be possible to access applications at any time, from anywhere in the world and with multiple end devices. The cloud is always available, which provides IT talent with the ideal working environment for testing and developing new solutions. 

 

Test here whether a cloud migration makes sense for you. 

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Simon Kilchmann

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