Using CloudCheckr to Evolve our Cloud Delivery Model
This is a guest contribution by Corey Dean of West Monroe Partners. Corey is the Vice President of Operations for the company’s Managed Services Practice. He has over 25 years experience managing all types of technology organizations, including software development and testing, project management, and technology operations.
The West Monroe Partners Managed Services practice is a 24/7, high-touch provider of infrastructure management, application support and development, security managed services, and help desk.
As more clients move to the public cloud, we wanted to provide value-added services beyond just basic support. We reviewed several cloud management platform (CMP) vendors. Most did one thing; only cost optimization or only security, etc. We landed on CloudCheckr because it’s the only CMP that provides one dashboard visibility across cloud providers with multiple-functionality.
The Features Fit Our Needs
First, the ability to reduce costs in clients’ Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure was compelling. Often, we’re supporting technology environments for midsized organizations. For those clients, reducing infrastructure costs can have a notable effect on profitability. CloudCheckr enables us to quickly review a client environment and make recommendations based on workloads. We can get trending information and be proactive in shifting environment resources as needed. Engaging with clients at this level shifts the dialogue from basic break/fix support to more business-focused technology management.
Best Practice Checks
Another important set of features for us are best practice checks. Public cloud providers, particularly AWS, have recommended configurations to get the most value, security, and usability from their platforms. Some of these checks include database security rules, permissions on storage, and data encryption. These checks are a key feature of CloudCheckr. When we onboard a new environment, we load their account information into the application, and can quickly get a list of tasks our team needs to perform to ensure adherence to the provider’s best practices.
As a managed services provider with a portfolio of financial services and healthcare clients, CloudCheckr’s compliance checks are a true differentiator. CloudCheckr has more than 35 regulatory frameworks loaded into the dashboard. If a client is looking to be PCI or HIPAA compliant, or wants to align to a security framework like NIST, the Total Compliance dashboard tells us where they’re compliant, where they’re not, and what actions need to be taken to achieve compliance.
In short, we can leverage the features in the application to help us differentiate ourselves in an increasingly crowded cloud delivery market.
Our Team is More Effective
Beyond the features, a big selling point for us was the recommended actions when an alert is created. Many of our clients still rely heavily on physical infrastructure. Outside of our cloud-focused migration and engineering team, we have engineering resources with minimal cloud experience. However, we can empower those resources to support cloud environments because alerts generated in CloudCheckr also come with a detailed explanation for what to do to remediate the alert. This effectively extends our team and capabilities as those team members shift from more traditional infrastructure support to cloud support.
Planning for the Future with CloudCheckr
As we continue to grow our practice, we’re exploring opportunities to expand our offerings. We’re looking at how CloudCheckr can help enable that growth. We’re exploring becoming an AWS Solution Provider, which would enable us to resell AWS services to our clients. CloudCheckr would also provide us a mechanism for generating invoices to our clients.
We’re also looking at cloud environment security and compliance as part of our managed security services. Often, compliance with a certain framework or standard requires a major focus on security. We’re exploring how data center-focused security initiatives dovetail with the security information provided by the platform.
CloudCheckr unveils new high-security environment offering, hardened to NIST 800-53 standards, to accelerate cloud adoption among financial services, public sector, healthcare, and other regulated industries.
In the end, it comes down to how an organization uses an application to determine how effective it can be. I’m eager to see how the CloudCheckr evolves in automation and additional compliance frameworks. Given our circumstances, the features provided along with the detailed information and additional context about alerts make CloudCheckr the ideal application for us at this point in our cloud practice development. If you’ve got additional questions or are interested in learning more about our managed services offering, Contact West Monroe Partners or Follow West Monroe Partners on LinkedIn.
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