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Mastering Cloud Management: The 7 KPIs Every Enterprise Architect Should Track

By Wulf Schiemann31. January 2023

Cloud computing has become an integral part of modern business, providing organizations with the ability to scale and adapt to changing demands. However, managing cloud usage can be a complex task, and it’s often up to a small team of enterprise architects and platform engineers to drive and enable cloud transformation.

For these teams – often referred to as cloud foundation teams or cloud centers of excellence – it’s important to keep an eye on certain key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure the organization is getting the most out of its cloud investment. In this article, we’ll discuss seven KPIs that enterprise architects and platform engineers should focus on when managing their organization’s use of the cloud.

So if you are part of a Cloud Foundation Team, Cloud Competence Center or Cloud Center of Excellence, this post is for you:

  1. Cloud Spend per Month:

    This KPI measures the amount of money your organization spends on cloud services each month. Keeping an eye on this KPI can help you identify areas where you may be overspending and make adjustments to your cloud usage to reduce costs. If your organization, like most, has a multi-cloud approach, you know that collecting this data from each private and public cloud is tedious. With meshStack – our cloud foundation platform – you get a single view of cloud spend per month across all cloud platforms.

  2. Financials dashboard in meshStack showing cloud spend per month, payment methods, costs per platform and open issues

  3. Cloud Adoption Ratio:

    This KPI measures the ratio of on-premise to cloud projects within your organization. Tracking this metric can help you understand how your organization is leveraging the cloud and identify areas where you may need to shift more resources to the cloud. This is especially important for organizations with tight cloud adoption targets.

    For example, if you find that the majority of your projects are still on premise, it indicates that your organization is not taking full advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, such as scalability and flexibility. It can also indicate that your organization is not well equipped to handle cloud projects, so you may need to invest in additional resources such as cloud-skilled staff and a cloud foundation platform, or work on your cloud strategy to guide your organization toward cloud adoption.

    On the other hand, if you find that the majority of your projects are in the cloud, this suggests that your organization has fully embraced cloud computing and is taking advantage of its benefits. However, it’s important to monitor this KPI over time to ensure that your organization is not over-investing in cloud projects, which can lead to increased costs.

    The meshStack API allows you to collect all cloud usage data such as number of users and number of projects from all cloud platforms (private and public).

  4. Cloud Adoption Rate:

    This KPI is closely related to Cloud Adoption Ratio: It measures the rate at which your organization is adopting cloud services. Monitoring this metric helps you understand how quickly your organization is able to take advantage of cloud computing and identify areas where additional resources are required to accelerate adoption.

  5. Deployment Frequency:

    This KPI measures how often new applications and updates are deployed to the cloud. Monitoring this KPI can help you understand how quickly your organization is able to deploy new capabilities and identify areas where deployment times can be improved. It helps you understand the agility of software development in your organization and the benefits the cloud can provide.

    For example, a high deployment frequency indicates that your organization is able to quickly and efficiently deploy new applications and updates to the cloud. This is a sign of a well-organized and efficient development process, and can also indicate that your organization is able to take advantage of new technologies and capabilities as they become available.

    On the other hand, a low deployment frequency is often a sign that your organization is struggling to keep up with the demands of cloud deployment, which can be a symptom of problems in your development process, such as inadequate testing or a lack of automation.

    In addition to monitoring deployment frequency, it’s also important to track the time it takes to deploy new applications and updates. This helps you identify bottlenecks in your deployment process and take steps to address them.

  6. Security Vulnerabilities per Month:

    This KPI measures the number of security vulnerabilities identified and resolved each month. Monitoring this KPI allows you to understand the effectiveness of your organization’s security measures and identify areas where additional security controls may be needed.

    For example, if you see a high number of vulnerabilities each month, it suggests that your organization’s cloud environment is not properly secured or that there are gaps in your security protocols. This is a sign that your organization needs to invest in additional security measures, such as cloud security posture management systems, prevent misconfiguration through policies with your cloud landing zones, or that your employees need additional training on cloud security best practices.

    On the other hand, a low number of vulnerabilities each month indicates that your organization’s cloud environment is relatively secure and that your security protocols are working as intended.

    It’s important to note that vulnerabilities can come from a variety of sources, including outdated software, misconfigurations, and human error.

    Implementing cloud landing zones can positively impact the “vulnerabilities per month” KPI by providing a secure foundation for your cloud environment that is designed to minimize security risks.

    One of the key benefits of cloud landing zones is that they provide a consistent, repeatable, and automated way to provision and configure cloud resources. This reduces the likelihood of misconfigurations and human error, which are common sources of security vulnerabilities. Cloud landing zones also provide clear segregation of duties and access controls, helping to ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive data and resources.

    With meshStack, you get policy violation notifications and reports, as well as an easy, integrated way to deploy cloud landing zones.

  7. Net Promoter Score:

    This KPI helps understand the level of satisfaction internal customers have with the cloud services provided by the organization. A high NPS indicates that internal customers are satisfied with the cloud services and are likely to recommend them to others, while a low NPS indicates that internal customers are not satisfied with the services and may look for alternatives. In this case, it means rejecting the cloud or creating shadow IT that threatens cost management, security and compliance efforts.

    To improve NPS, it’s important to understand the factors that drive customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. This can be done through customer feedback surveys, interviews or focus groups. Once you have identified the issues, you can take steps to address them, such as improving service quality, increasing transparency, or providing more training and support.

    With meshStack as the Cloud Foundation Platform, it is easy to address common issues: Cloud environments can be self-provisioned in minutes, application teams choose the cloud landing zone and cloud platforms they need for their project, the budget they’ve been allocated, and they’re ready to go. They have native access to all the cloud services they need, while maintaining compliance in the cloud.

    It’s also important to note that NPS should be monitored over time to track changes in customer satisfaction; this will help identify trends and take action if necessary.

  8. Time to Cloud:

    This KPI measures the time it takes from the decision to build an application to the provisioning of the required cloud resources. Monitoring this KPI can help you understand how quickly your organization is able to provision the resources needed for new projects and identify areas where the process can be streamlined. Self-service provisioning of cloud environments in meshStack has reduced our customers’ time-to-cloud from days or weeks to minutes.

    A shorter time-to-cloud indicates that an organization is able to quickly and efficiently provision cloud resources and deploy applications, which can provide a competitive advantage. This can be achieved by automating the provisioning process, establishing clear governance and approval processes, and providing developers with easy access to cloud resources.

    A longer time-to-cloud, on the other hand, can indicate that an organization is struggling to provision cloud resources and deploy applications efficiently. This may be due to a lack of automation, unclear governance, or lack of access to cloud resources.

    To improve time to cloud, organizations should focus on automating the provisioning process, establishing clear governance and approval processes, and providing developers with easy access to cloud resources. This can help accelerate application deployment and improve overall efficiency.

In summary, enterprise architects and platform engineers play a critical role in managing their organization’s cloud usage. By tracking these seven KPIs, they can ensure that their organization is getting the most out of its cloud investments, while also identifying areas for improvement. By monitoring cloud spend, cloud adoption ratio, cloud adoption rate, deployment frequency, security vulnerabilities, net promoter score, and time-to-cloud, organizations can make data-driven decisions to optimize their cloud usage and ensure they are getting the best value for their investment.