Cloud computing has become the default setting for most enterprises, with 92% of companies already somewhat in the cloud. But challenges remain.  

When it comes to the ability to take full advantage of their cloud adoption, IT decision-makers cited operational issues – such as controlling cloud costs and data privacy/security challenges – as their biggest hurdles.  

Most of the time, during cloud migrations, the majority of the focus tends to be on applications. This is understandable as operations don’t always come to the forefront until six to 12 months into a migration. Operational deficiencies take time to manifest. When they do, they harm more than just your cloud migration journey – high operational risks can have an uncapped monetary impact. 

Organizations, therefore, need to ensure they have the correct people, processes, and tools to operate the environments.

For enterprises looking to reap the full benefits of their cloud migration, AWS Managed Services (AMS) can help them attain operational excellence to facilitate their business objectives. 

Operational excellence is defined as the ability to support the development and run workloads effectively, gain insight into operations, and continuously improve supporting processes and procedures to deliver business value. It is one of the five pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework.

The recipe for operational excellence 

To help customers operate securely in the cloud, AMS leverages five key design principles:

1. Perform operations as code: Performing OS-level patching and backup manually can be time-consuming, error-prone, and expensive. AMS uses automated cloud operations to identify failure events and trigger consistent remediation, helping customers proactively monitor for issues and improve overall service SLAs and uptime. This also helps offload undifferentiated operational burdens from infrastructure operation teams. 

2. Make frequent, small, reversible changes: Change management needs to be part of the design when it comes to service operations, as unchecked changes can compromise security or the health of the environment and end customers. Change management processes and tools should be crafted to facilitate suitable change governance and security. If the changes are traceable and made in increments, they can easily be reversed, as needed. 

3. Refine operations procedure frequently: After setting up cloud operations, it is crucial to test and refine them frequently to ensure readiness for failures. During onboarding to AMS, customers are guided through operational Game Day exercises to validate operational processes in the cloud with infrastructure and application teams. The learnings from these sessions are then incorporated into operational run books. AMS also supports customers in the regular implementation of a disaster recovery (DR) exercise by providing standardized and automated tooling and processes.

4. Anticipate failures: To reduce the impact of failures on your service, it is important to test incident response procedures with all involved teams before you go into production. Cloud infrastructure operations need to be designed with proactive monitoring and automated remediation in mind. Running a defined plan will also help reduce errors and downtime.

5. Learn from all operational failures: When appropriate tooling and remediation are not in place, operational errors and failures can occur. They include but are not limited to misconfigurations, missing important indicators due to noisy alarms, and inadvertently disabling logging in accounts. These failures can compromise security monitoring. 

Getting your cloud business-ready  

While it is possible for organizations to use AWS services to implement the operational excellence design principles on their own, the process can be time-consuming. It also distracts them from their customer focus and slows down innovation, which is not an ideal state to be in. 

Moreover, IT teams could be forced to deprioritize other higher-order cloud adoption initiatives as they end up spending their time on undifferentiated operational processes instead. Even worse, they could end up building legacy operating models that do not scale.  

With AMS, you can make sure that your cloud is business-ready. Cloud Comrade as an AWS Premier Consulting Partner has the expertise to help you implement AMS to bridge your operational gaps, and enhance your security and risk optimization – so that you can better realize the full suite of cloud benefits for your business.