How to Automate Your Cloud Provisioning
28/01/2021 | Blog
Provisioning cloud services has become difficult to manage in recent years, with the number of cloud providers and service offerings increasing in quantity (and complexity) every day. Poor provisioning can deter end-customers and resellers from finding and engaging with your marketplace. Adopting a continuous approach to services’ cloud provisioning, paired with automation tools, can help cloud businesses streamline their operations. Here’s how CSPs can benefit from provisioning automation.
Why Cloud Provisioning Is So Complicated
Cloud provisioning refers to the way end-customers and resellers procure cloud services and resources from a cloud business. The increasing catalog of services has grown to incorporate everything-as-a-service and can be orchestrated via advanced, dynamic, or self-service provisioning. Depending on the service type and provisioning approach, services can be deployed through a flat fee, monthly subscription, or on a pay-per-use basis.
Many factors go into building a marketplace: from meeting QoS and price requirements to providing services that hit certain throughputs and metrics. Furthermore, as new marketplaces emerge, it can be difficult to drive traffic and establish an end-customer/reseller base.
Here are some of the common provisioning challenges faced by cloud businesses:
- Complex Management: Manual provisioning is time-consuming and riddled with human errors. Deploying on more than one cloud platform with multiple provisioning tools and a dynamic marketplace can result in a confusing ecosystem.
- Service and Resource Dependencies: Dependencies across applications and workloads (especially for serverless functions) can lead to unexpected service overuse or surprise costs.
- Implementing Cost Controls: Tracking usage and pricing thresholds for virtual services is essential but difficult with centralized cost controls in place.
A cloud model built for performance and availability requires on-demand reassignment of resources through interworking of cloud systems from different providers to meet SLAs and customer needs. Cloud businesses that want to reduce complexity while streamlining provisioning should strongly consider automating their provisioning process.
Benefits of Provisioning Automation
Cloud automation has resulted in greater profitability, agility, and flexibility for businesses. 85% of organizations say it benefits their customer experience and 59% report that it helps them reassign staff to higher-value activities.
Automation fuels market agility, providing analytics to make informed decisions quickly. An agile marketplace can respond to evolving customer needs and create tailored approaches for customers with specialized needs (such as a paired service). Automation offers the flexibility and scalability cloud businesses need while simplifying the allocation and deployment of resources.
In short, provisioning automation creates business value in the following ways:
- Quicker time-to-market from streamlined workflows
- Auto-scaling of management and provisioning to support an adaptive environment
- Empower end-customers and resellers through self-service provisioning
- Access to quality and tested software with built-in APIs and compliance
- Minimized business risk from detailed reporting and analytics
How to Automate Your Cloud Provisioning
Thanks to automated provisioning tools, more functions of cloud provisioning can be streamlined than ever before.
1. Self-Service Infrastructure
Automating your provisioning streamlines workflows and empowers resellers to successfully manage, provision, and buy cloud services themselves. Create a completely customized Marketplace that is intuitive to use and tailored to your audience with custom branding, interactive support, and centralized billing. Automating provisioning through a self-service portal allows clients to scale services as needed and moves the CSP into a supervisor role where they can support rapid growth.
2. Manage Provision Services Across a Single Pane of Glass
Provisioning automation platforms can help streamline workflows and provide one singular destination for your internal team to sell, quote, audit, procure, and bill services. This extends to provisioning of Microsoft Cloud Services and Office 365.
An all-in-one CSP platform minimizes administrative tasks and streamlines manual license provisioning so teams can focus on market and partner development rather than provisioning issues. Integrations help CSPs build an ecosystem of ISVs so they can provision any service from the cloud and will cement your competitive advantage.
3. Manage a Dynamic Cloud Catalog
Manually managing an evolving catalog of services leaves it prone to errors. Catalogs require updates as new add-ons are available, SKUs are discontinued, and updates are required. Some cloud businesses are juggling hundreds of microservices and integrations; making it very challenging for teams to ensure their catalog suite is up-to-date.
With automation, teams can reduce their workload by 90% and error rate by nearly 100%. CSP automation tools support dynamic catalogs so teams can easily add, change, or remove services and handle reconciliations immediately. Automatic catalog updates also ensure your marketplace supports changes as they occur.
4. Incorporate Cloud Compliance & Security
Cloud businesses are responsible for adhering to strict compliance and security regulations, but more than 63% of organizations cite security risk as the biggest hindrance to business success.
Automating provisioning with a CSP automation platform ensures that data privacy and compliance are a built-in priority. With automation, CSPs have control over their data and customers have peace-of-mind that personal information is being stored safely and securely.
Automate Provisioning End-to-End with interworks.cloud
Provisioning everything-as-a-service comes with a unique set of challenges that can only be overcome through automation. interworks.cloud’s complete provisioning automation helps CSPs confidently and automatically provision services as a direct or indirect provider. With pre-built integrations, streamlined order-to-activation, and a single point of management, interworks.cloud supports dynamic cloud provisioning across every stage of the marketplace lifecycle.
To see how the interworks.cloud’s automation platform can work for your organization, request a live demo here.