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Q&A: Cloud management with Jan Puzicha — CTO & SVP Product, LeanIX

Wed 4 Mar 2020 | Jan Puzicha

As CTO & SVP Product at LeanIX, Jan Puzicha is responsible for product management, UX, development & operations for the company. This involves anything that has to do with creating and operating the company’s SaaS product offerings for data-driven enterprise architecture, automated cloud management and micro-service intelligence. At Cloud Expo Europe, 11-12 March, the CTO will discuss effective management of multi-cloud cost, governance & compliance

How has cloud management evolved over the last few years?

Cloud management has seen a significant evolution over the past couple of years, with rapid adoption of the cloud by most companies, employing both IaaS and PaaS strategies. Hybrid cloud strategies have become common, Kubernetes & container management is quickly becoming mainstream, and the usage of micro-service architectures combined with agile and DevOps are major trends. All these developments have led to high demand for cloud management solutions in order to control cost, understand and address security issues, and provide insight, governance, and oversight.

What key on-premises challenges are now having to be re-answered in the cloud?

The move to the cloud comes with the promise of decentralised, agile teams allowing for the rapid adoption of new technologies. As a result, the cloud landscapes of large companies often rise in complexity and in many circumstances become significantly more difficult to understand and manage than traditional on-premise deployments.

As a consequence, many of the on-premise challenges have returned, including understanding and addressing cost, a new wave of security issues and concerns that need to be addressed, as well as the need to provide basic governance on how to use the myriad cloud service options to keep the deployments somewhat manageable. For many large companies, even understanding what they have in place is a major undertaking, wherein cost, ownership, used services, and even cloud vendors and cloud accounts in use are not centrally known.

What is the risk to business if these challenges are not addressed?

The key risks include cost structures rising out of control, major security incidents and breaches happening, and inefficient usage of resources that could easily be avoided.

How can organisations go about remedying these challenges without hamstringing innovation?

Proper balancing of central oversight with the innovation coming from decentralised approaches is key. From a governance side, we recommend moving away from a priori rules and policies, which can massively hamper quick innovation cycles, to a more reactive approach, by building out a central monitoring system which can easily understand what has been put in place by the teams.

Such a reactive cloud management system can be used as a central place of knowledge. It provides an efficient cost-controlling mechanism and a place from which effective security controls can be applied to quickly uncover and resolve any major violations.

Why is a centralised view and management of cloud cost vital in today’s multi-cloud world?

Only with a central view and management is there a chance to get a global picture of how cloud is being used, the associated cost structures, and the corresponding risks (security and others). The need for a central picture is even aggravated by deploying multiple clouds, both multiple public cloud providers as well as hybrid cloud which, in my experience, is common practice in most larger companies, as the cloud providers are usually proving a limited overview in a single environment.

What are the benefits of automatically populating an up-to-date enterprise architecture into cloud deployments, and how can organisations go about delivering this?

Enterprise architecture attempts to provide a high-level picture of a company’s business architecture, its application landscape, and the technical underpinnings of its used software, hardware, databases, cloud services, etc. It covers a broad range of use cases from application portfolio management and rationalisation, addressing technology obsolescence, planning and executing cloud transformations, and much more.

In order to be effective, a solid understanding and modelling of the technical layer is essential, which has become much more complex in the case of cloud deployments with rapid change being the norm. The attempt to keep such a repository manually up-to-date becomes a Sisyphean task. Hence, automatically capturing and maintaining a view into the cloud, and tying it to a microservice architecture, application landscape and business architecture modelling becomes a mandatory requirement.

What is your central takeaway for the senior business leaders attending Cloud Expo Europe 2020?

Make sure to establish the necessary cross-cloud management capabilities to gain insights into what you have deployed to the cloud and to win back control over cost, security, and the ability to guide your organisation through the cloud journey.

Experts featured:

Jan Puzicha

CTO & SVP Product


cloud management multi-cloud
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