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Recap: Transitioning to Cloud in the Modern Workplace

Synechron hosted a “Transitioning to Cloud in the Modern Workplace” round table, where industry leaders discussed the current state of cloud; how to implement and adopt a cloud security strategy and reviewed what are the relevant steps needed to be taken when looking to undertake the cloud journey.

Cloud is rapidly becoming a preferred solution for businesses, driven by the need to reduce upfront IT costs and ongoing improvements to the availability of connectivity options. Financial services and insurance firms have been slow to adopt Cloud strategies; however, as these businesses move from a decade of regulatory compliance focus to digital transformation and user experience design – a cloud strategy will be essential to achieving their business goals.

Developing and implementing a cloud adoption strategy presents opportunities as much as it effectuates concern. Companies that adopt modern technology without devising a comprehensive cloud security strategy or making the necessary operational changes, will fail to see the risk mitigating benefits.

During the round table, a few key areas emerged and were highlighted by attendees, including:

Multi-Cloud Strategy and Implementation - In order for a business to be successful, if and when they decide whether to transition to the cloud, it should consider the benefits of adopting a multi-cloud strategy or being ‘cloud-agnostic.’ Cloud agnostic allows businesses to be able to move from one cloud vendor to another, with minimal impact to the IT systems and overall business operations. Data should not have to be tied to a single platform but should be portable. When similar services are implemented across multiple cloud platforms, applications and businesses will see the benefit from being able to better realise consistent performance and security in each environment. Multi-cloud architecture helps lessen the effectiveness of a Denial-of-Service (‘DDoS’) attacks, through providing a level of resiliency not available with a single provider i.e., if a cloud provider suffers an attack, multi-cloud strategy lets IT quickly shift the load (or only the impacted services), to other cloud environments with ease.

Migration Framework and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) - In the initial architecture planning stage, it is key to recognise the applications’ affinity towards the type of cloud they want to deploy i.e., Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS); Platform-as-a-service (PaaS); or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), to take advantage of cloud services already available. To enable digital transformation, enterprises should have business systems that are operationally agile and efficient. Migrating to i.e., cloud-based SaaS applications, provides flexibility to support new business models and improvements in key areas such as data portability, analytics and security – all of which tie into how to develop a well thought-out, end-to-end, multi-cloud strategy. Rather than install applications across the enterprise, SaaS can be used to save on software managements costs; improve data collaboration with different business units; as well as improve maintenance and make operations simple.

Use of Cloud for Big Data & Security - The benefits of the cloud for using, processing and storing big data is a win-win combination. In using cloud for big data, businesses can hope to significantly drive down their costs as well as future-proof their data. Arguably, cloud and big data have become so intertwined, cloud has become a vital tool for big data. The cloud simplifies connectivity and collaboration within an organisation, giving employees access to relevant analytics as well as streamlining data sharing. With cloud, there is no need to have expensive data warehouses, waste time and operating costs. However, with big data in the cloud, security (internal and external) has emerged as an important point of discussion as well as data governance. Before transitioning to cloud, businesses need to ensure they conduct their due diligence and run a thorough review of all accounts to ensure the data to be migrated is clean and credentials are not outdated. Moving forward, businesses need to set security boundaries to ensure the security procedures are followed and maintained by the right individuals, with the right knowledge.

In order to effectively plan, develop and implement a cloud migration strategy, businesses need to decide the cost-benefit analysis of migrating to the cloud in the first place. They need to then make a decision whether or not they want to go the multi-cloud strategy route and before doing so, ensure the correct due diligence and security measures are taken so their data is protected, secure and future-proofed.

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