Over the past decade, the Cloud Management Platform (CMP) market was formed to help customers better manage, optimize, and govern their cloud environments across public, private, and hybrid clouds. The CMP market is comprised of cloud service provider’s native tools, in-house and custom-built solutions, as well as third-party management solutions. Each of these offerings has their pros and cons, and the decision on which solution to go with really comes down to what your current pain points are, and what the ideal future state is for your cloud environment.
It’s important for you to first identify what your challenges are before you evaluate and trial vendors. Here are some of the key criteria that prospective buyers must take into consideration during the CMP purchase process:
Common general requirements are related to the number of customers, the financial stability of the company, product vision, market share, and partner ecosystem. Enterprises are also becoming increasingly interested in an organization’s cultural values, such as their diversity and sustainability initiatives, in order to find a company that prizes the same values as their own.
Functional Requirements, also referred to as Technical Requirements, are the core focus when buying a product. Categories within functional requirements will vary, but often include things like which cloud environments are supported, financial management capabilities, resource utilization, governance and automation, security risk exposure, and API functionality. It’s important to ensure that the features of the CMP can meet your business needs, for example, if you’re a heavy user of Amazon EC2 Convertible Reserved Instances, you’ll want a CMP that can help you with purchasing, management, and exchanges.
Services and Support Requirements
While the functional requirements are the core focus area for buyers, services and support cannot be overlooked. This area can often be a game-changer, as you may require strict SLAs or be interested in dedicated personnel resources for implementation and training.
Not to be confused with security in the functional requirements section, this category focuses on the security architecture of the company and product. Here you may inquire about business continuity and disaster recovery, the flow of data, encryption, access privileges, and third-party attestations such as SOC2 compliance.
Pricing structures can be complex and will most likely vary by each cloud management platform. Some may be priced per module, based on the percentage of cloud spend, or simply be a flat rate. Make sure you’re able to get all core features included in your pricing agreement.
The use of a cloud management platform can yield many business benefits across financial management, operational efficiency, and cloud readiness, but to be most effective you need to make sure the platform ties into your broader cloud strategy and fits the needs of your business.
For a deep-dive into all of the criteria you should be considering before purchasing a CMP, read the full whitepaper.