Balancing Control and Usability: Developing Internal Cloud Platforms


“To attain a balance between control and usability is all about effective internal cloud building services.”

The entire idea behind companies moving to a public cloud is primarily for:

  • Reduction of costs.
  • Business agility.
  • Innovative solutions.

In addition, the incorporation of managed services like DBaaS plus infrastructure as code has made application building more streamlined with effortless fulfillment of business requirements. This is because of the cloud benefits in which the entire IT process and infrastructure can be managed better.

However, the concern that comes with this rapid cloud shift is the increased chances of data theft and breaches. Therefore, working on internal cloud platform makes it practical for cloud service providers to develop a defensive environment by taking authority over policy design and accessibility.

Why to invest in development of internal cloud platforms?

Cloud service providers have a unique service catalog which involves audit ability and security features. This is done to process necessary certifications like HIPAA, PCI, and more. Most cloud solutions are designed to serve 80 percent of the process and business requirements, while the rest varies from customer to customer. That 20 percent is everything integrated with the existing Cloud infrastructure solutions that are addressing the unique customer requirements.

Simply, an organization that seeks help from external cloud service providers only needs to customize about 20 percent. This excludes the chance to work on assets like operating systems, network security, vulnerability checks, and other risk factors. Moreover, external cloud services related issues such as firewall protection, access management on IPs could be easily prevented through the development of internal cloud platforms.

When platforms are highly restrictive

Another common issue many organizations face with CSP is restrictive control. This is the restricted usability of the cloud solution since the CSP’s attention is to serve the security, governance, and compliance-related risks.

Sometimes, cloud solutions lack the possibility to integrate corporate security tools into the cloud because of compatibility issues. This increases the gap between the usability and success of the cloud platform with hefty costs involved with the integrations. In simple words, the businesses working with an external cloud service may have to bear increase in costs that may surface because of the limitations of the open-source solution or cost-prohibitive tools.

The next big thing that comes into the play is driving value through innovative solutions. However, most CSP policies are designed on common terms, which reduce the scope for unique business environments. This can also lead to lower chances of experimenting with problems.

All in all, if cloud solutions are reducing the scope for agility and innovation and creating a lag in the development process which has increased expenses, it makes no sense to invest in such a solution. Though it is vital to work on company risks, it is more important to work on the development of the value proposition.

Balance between usability and control

The primary factors that need to be looked at to establish a balance is the usability for stakeholders and control security for developers. It needs to be value-adding to customers through faster response, affordable service options, and scope for innovation. Moreover, the concept of development of high-performance software is something that can work as a competitive advantage in the industry.

Through this, goals can be defined for leveraging performance with risk mitigation. Therefore, the architecture of the cloud platform should also be designed to keep command over customer information, provided stakeholders have control over the platform to ensure effective value generation. Moreover, the policies should be framed in a manner so as to attain smooth user experience with a shift made to advice and assistance, rather than rigid control. This can help to establish a prominent collaboration between the service provider and the customer, leaving no chances of inefficacies with the system.

The Inference

To sum it up, building cloud solutions needs platform teams to behave in a customer-centric manner. Though security is an essential component of development, creating business value is also a significant part that should not be left behind. The inability to work on such alterations and configurations may become a threat to cloud service providers as businesses start to move to outside solutions for productivity.

To achieve all the above-stated functionalities, it only takes an approach that considers customers’ perspective before the development of security regulations or framing policies. This helps to introduce frequent features that can add value to businesses, especially when internal cloud platform teams are working on it.

Good Luck!

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Balancing Control and Usability: Developing Internal Cloud Platforms
Vikas Katoch, Vice President
Published on
February 14, 2019

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