Adam Roberts
Stax on Stax
31 Aug 2021

What Happens When My Cloud Environment Becomes Outdated

It can be easy for organizations in the cloud to adopt a “set and forget” mindset.

We’ve found organizations who have adopted the cloud have done so to accomplish short-term goals—like launching a new application into the cloud—but without necessarily considering growth.

Many think of cloud as a project, not a platform. The scope is limited to the goals of that initial project, so their cloud environments are not future-proofed. As their cloud usage increases, and their foundations age, they are no longer fit-for-purpose.

Additionally, there is a shortage of cloud experts, so teams are stretched thin and there is no-one within a business who is specifically responsible for researching and deploying important updates/configuration improvements.

This journey to cloud may have begun with the best of intentions, but without the expertise and the processes required, cloud environments quickly start to deteriorate.

Challenges Faced with an Outdated Cloud Environment

In our experience, companies who adopt the "set and forget” approach are destined to run into problems, both with internal processes and systems, and for the wider business.

Elevated Security Risk

Keeping your cloud environment secure and your risk low is imperative for every business. As threats evolve, every business must keep up. Security is the number one challenge for businesses in the cloud (2021 Flexera State of the Cloud report). For businesses who must adhere to industry compliance standards such as APRA, SOC2, or the CIS AWS Foundations Benchmark, this is even more important.

AWS releases new security updates regularly, but these must be tested and applied to an environment before a business can reap the benefits. Without a dedicated maintenance effort, security will always degrade over time.

Delivery Risk

Outdated cloud environments start to slow your team’s delivery. A DevOps or CloudOps engineer may be given one task, but then discover there have been AWS changes that impact their core processes or foundations. These changes need to be accounted for. As a result, a simple task can stretch on endlessly, and in some cases this can happen daily.

When a team is unable to deploy resources quickly, securely and in a consistent manner, the business faces a delivery risk.

Higher costs

An outdated cloud environment often means costs aren’t being tracked or optimized. Accounts are created or workloads are deployed, but then forgotten about—until the bill comes. This can often lead to bill shock, where an AWS bill exceeds the budget. Businesses may also miss out on the savings that may come from incorporating new AWS product updates.

A good example is cloud compute. AWS regularly releases new instance types that are cheaper to run, but only if you adopt them. If you don’t know about them, or your team lacks the resources to properly test and roll them out across your AWS environment, your business is missing out on savings.

Sound Familiar?

Your business may have already started to notice the signs of an outdated cloud environment. Think about it:

  • Is your team spending a large percentage of their time on operational tasks?
  • Are costs rising out of step with ROI?
  • Are you finding it difficult to integrate new AWS services into your environment?
  • Is staff turnover high as engineers seek a more modern environment that allows them to deliver at speed?

Once you have identified this as an issue, you still need an experienced team with the time and resources to resolve it. This is not always possible for businesses with lean teams that are laser focused on delivery.

If your environment has started to show the signs of its age, your delivery velocity is lower, your costs are rising, or your team is struggling to deliver—Stax can help.

Get An Evergreen, Secure Cloud Environment

Every cloud journey begins with a migration but it doesn’t end there. So don’t settle for a cloud environment that grows increasingly out-of-date and insecure over time.

With ongoing maintenance, reporting and AWS updates, Stax keeps your cloud environment evergreen. AWS releases hundreds of updates every year. Not all of them will benefit you, but many will. We will assess these updates, test them, and add them to your environment when it will benefit your business.

For example, in 2020 AWS released IAM Access Analyzer, an optional service that would add value to security operations. We made this available, and properly configured, in our customers environments at no additional effort or cost.

Reduce Business Risk

When it comes to ongoing risk management and enhanced security, Stax helps in two ways: proactively and reactively.

Proactively, Stax establishes guardrails that govern what teams can access and the actions they can perform, in line with best practices.

Reactively, Stax also allows businesses to establish Rules, either reflecting internal policies or industry standards such as APRA, which can track and report in real-time on how you measure against your compliance goals.

For example, one commonly used Rule alerts customers when we detect an AWS S3 bucket is open for public access, helping you avoid severe security issues such as data loss, reputation damage and unexpected charges on your AWS bill.

Optimize Costs

Stax provides you with total cost visibility and allocation, as well as recommendations for cost optimization. In cloud storage example used above, Stax would alert you to new instance types, and the savings you can make by using them.

Stax also grows with your business. If your organization is adopting the cloud to capitalize on a single business opportunity—if your cloud journey begins as a project—you can get started with a very low financial barrier of entry. If you start with a single project or proof-of-concept, you won’t be penalized. But when your cloud footprint expands and grows, Stax will remain fit-for-purpose over the long haul.

Reach out to our team to learn more and arrange a demo.

Request Demo