While cloud computing provides flexibility and scalability, leveraging it does not automatically lead to achieving desired business goals. The fact is, cloud computing consists of many parts, and everything in the cloud needs to work together seamlessly to drive business success. That’s why AWS solutions architects developed the AWS Well-Architected Framework — to identify cloud architecture best practices that can provide a strategic advantage and increase the likelihood of success. A Well-Architected infrastructure can drive business results like reducing costs or addressing security and compliance risk, improving your core systems’ reliability for better customer experiences, and much more. Further, it provides a common framework of best practices and measures that can be invaluable to siloed organizations.
Getting — and staying — Well-Architected requires continuous monitoring of your infrastructure. As the number of cloud services and resources grows and the volume and velocity of changes proliferate, monitoring your cloud infrastructure manually becomes infeasible. So, many businesses use a cloud management platform to automate cloud management, optimization, and insights.
Is your cloud management platform vendor committed to security and compliance standards and best practices?
While companies typically perform due diligence when selecting cloud providers, they may not always apply the same rigor to selecting a tool to manage those clouds. Such a tool should deliver fast time to value and be easy to deploy, configure, and integrate. It should have a wide breadth and depth of cloud management functionality. An example of this is nOps, a leading cloud management platform for AWS. nOps provides a 360-degree view of your cloud infrastructure, provides continuous monitoring, and is aligned directly with the AWS Well-Architected Framework pillars. Of particular note, nOps provides transparency for making trade-off decisions as organizations optimize their AWS infrastructure for cost, security, performance efficiency, reliability, and operational excellence — the five pillars of the Well-Architected Framework.
Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Management Platforms indicated that there is a growing demand for using such platforms to “apply governance that allows the enforcement of cloud service standards where the key areas of governance are around cost management and security.” Therefore, it’s crucial to consider how well your cloud management platform monitors your infrastructure for security and compliance standards and best practices.
What’s more, you should consider if the company or cloud management platform is SOC 2-certified, providing independent assurance that the company follows the highest security policies and has an established operational framework.
Only a select group of companies opt-in for a SOC 2 audit due to the audit’s stringent requirements and the required time and financial investment. And little wonder, since the audit evaluates a company’s systems and processes using the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Trust Service Categories (TSCs). TSCs are industry-recognized standards for cloud service providers, software providers and developers, web marketing companies, and financial services organizations.
Organizational vision and a long-term commitment by a company’s leadership is required to successfully complete this exercise. Recently, nOps achieved this milestone based on an assessment by A-LIGN ASSURANCE, an independent CPA services firm.
When selecting a cloud management tool, look for one that is easy to deploy, configure, and integrate. It should have a wide breadth and depth of cloud management functionality and provide a fast time to value. In particular, your cloud management platform should monitor your infrastructure for security and compliance standards and best practices. And, to optimize your critical cloud infrastructure, you owe it to yourself and your organization to select a company or cloud management platform that has an established operational framework, follows security best practices, and has industry certifications like SOC 2.