Risks of Cloud Computing Make Incident Management Necessary
Every business wants to provide continuous service to its customers. In other words, digital services are always on the clock. So it’s critical to catch any service-disrupting issue. To meet this challenge, enterprises are adopting cloud infrastructures to house digital assets and run digital services. As they do, they have to meet the risks of cloud computing too.
An estimated 94% of businesses use cloud technology. Whether your digital services are in the cloud, on a hybrid architecture, or you’re even thinking about moving to the cloud, you must have incident management processes in place to achieve continuous uptime and service resilience.
Migrating to the cloud is just the beginning of a company’s transformational journey. As you begin to change the very ways you think about app development and deployment, the ways you monitor and troubleshoot your environment change along with it. In true “cloud-native” fashion, you want as little distractions from “lights on” activities as possible so you can focus on developing and maintaining the application itself. Having Incident Management tools (like xMatters) helps companies spend less time hunting down those issues and point right to the root cause to get you back on track.
“In true “cloud-native” fashion, you want as little distractions from “lights on” activities as possible so you can focus on developing and maintaining the application itself. Having incident management tools (like xMatters) helps companies spend less time hunting down those issues and point right to the root cause to get you back on track.”
– Seth Moffit, Solutions Architect, SADA
Cloud-based Services Aren’t One-Size-Fits-All
Think of incident management as a safety net to keep your business up and running. Your infrastructure informs how you should construct that net. Here’s a quick guide to benefits and risks of cloud computing with some common cloud infrastructures you may have.
Private and public clouds
Cloud services are either public, meaning they are cloud services offered by third-party providers over the internet, or private, meaning they are computing resources available exclusively to one person or enterprise.
Public clouds tend to be more scalable, so they can accommodate more data, but less flexible. This modular approach comes with a lower price. Private clouds offer less scalability, but greater security and flexibility to support more complex transactions. As you grow and scale your business in the cloud, incident management supports your digital services and helps delivers uninterrupted customer experiences.
For an added layer of flexibility, enterprises can opt for a hybrid cloud (on-premise plus cloud environment(s) or a multi-cloud (multiple cloud storage systems) to house their digital services. When it comes to incident management, each holds unique benefits and challenges.
In a hybrid cloud structure, incident management gives you a full range of visibility into each of the environments that your digital services are housed in. A hybrid cloud structure houses digital services in a connected mix of on-premise, private cloud, and public cloud services. If there is a service disruption in any of your environments, your incident management system will be on top of it ready to alert the right team members and resolve issues fast.
Not all clouds are created equal. Some enterprises house their digital services on multiple public clouds. Generally, this cloud strategy is attractive to enterprises who want the access to different cloud services offer such as the compute resources and data storage options. It is also ideal for enterprises that don’t want to be locked into working with only one vendor, which may have greater business and security risk.
Processes and systems that apply to one cloud may not necessarily apply to another, which is why it’s essential to create cohesion between every cloud environment that houses your digital services. This is where incident management can identify and alert you to any service degradation no matter where it is.
When your cloud-based digital services integrate with an incident management system, you can automate incident management processes and mitigate the risks of cloud computing. Your IT and DevOps teams will thank you when they’re spending more time building and releasing digital services and less time troubleshooting.
“Having a good incident management plan in place keeps all of your cloud-based services safe.”
– Mario Guisado, Director of Support, xMatters
How Incident Management Can Save You Money
Try as we might, there is no perfect machine. And when something inevitably goes wrong, an incident management system that effectively and efficiently allocates resources can save time and dollars.
Let’s face it, service disruptions are costly. In 2018, the average cost of a service downtime was nearly $300,000. As budgets grow by nearly 4% a year (Gartner, 2020) IT, DevOps teams are increasing their maintenance budgets to keep up with the growing demand for digital services in the pandemic era.
When multiple systems are dependent on each other, one costly service disruption leads to another. Let’s use a hybrid cloud architecture as an example. A service in the cloud is dependent on an on-premise service. If the cloud service degrades, you will have to repair the on-premise service too.
The xMatters incident management platform receives monitoring signals from both environments so you can address the degradation before it affects customers. With fewer incidents and shorter resolution times, your team can focus on innovation and revenue-generating new features.
Communication Reduces the Risks of Cloud Computing
As SaaS businesses embrace a DevOps collaboration style, many teams support business services. It’s critical that those teams are constantly in contact with each other in case something goes wrong. If your architecture is built on multiple cloud environments, and one service is affected, likely all of them are. An incident management platform provides visibility into all your services so you can see potential disruptions early.
Create an organization-wide response plan so you can mitigate issues before they affect customers. Enable teams to alert key on-call team members so they can start executing against the plan immediately. Teams can also notify important stakeholders, including executives and customers, so your response team can work the issue uninterrupted. After all, the worst thing to do at 3am is delegate tasks to fix service disruptions (the best thing is sleep).
To achieve uninterrupted customer experiences, the xMatters virtual workflow builder Flow Designer connects virtually any tools into intelligent workflows. Use prebuilt workflows or build your own to automate toil, resolve issues, and collect incident data for later use. xMatters integrates with tools from virtually any source, including cloud native Google Operations Suite, Application Performance Management (APM), and ChatOps to ensure that your digital services achieve maximum uptime.
Build an Iron-Clad Cloud Architecture
Catching and fixing issues with incident management can help your cloud infrastructure “weather any storm.” Using xMatters for your cloud transformation streamlines communication, keeps costs down, and ensures continuity of your digital services. To optimize costs, teams with under 10 members can use xMatters for free. Using the best of our workflows and cloud tools, DevOps and SRE teams can monitor and game plan against any customer-facing service issue. Try it Free.