Digital transformation is no longer a technology consideration. It is a business priority. Whether it be financial services, public sector or healthcare, organizations of all types must now embrace modern technologies in order to drive growth and innovate.
One of the key tenets of digital transformation is leveraging the power and flexibility of cloud technology for operational efficiency, increased innovation and more. Cloud can help build resiliency, optimize data usage and create more secure computing systems – all at infinite scale and distribution. Although investments in cloud infrastructure are up 2.3% in 2022, a potential recession threatens to affect the transition to the cloud. Yet the right investments in cloud can lower costs and increase revenue opportunities.
Building resilient systems
Cloud technology provides organizations with a wealth of resources to build resilient systems. However, cloud-based options for resiliency will depend on the services that a workload currently consumes. For traditional virtual machine-based workloads, the options depend on the hypervisor and the performance criteria of the VMs — shared versus dedicated tenant resourcing. In the case of vSphere-based virtual environments, using platform-deployed tenants of vSphere across the hyperscalers would give flexibility in addition to operational simplicity because the same tools, processes and administrative knowledge can be used.
If you plan to use a different hypervisor as the VM host – vSphere to Amazon Web Services’ EC2 – there will be more considerations, since the behavior of the hypervisor will differ from one to another (CPU co-scheduling, transparent memory sharing and DMA are all significant considerations). For cloud-native approaches, serverless options use 12-factor methods that support concurrency through quick instantiation of functions using policy-coordinated provisioning. The distribution of services across compute and storage resources are handled by the cloud service provider, leaving users to focus on function development.
Regardless of your system needs, cloud helps you build a resilient platform designed to provide the right services required for your business.
Cloud technology is a crucial component of our hybrid work environments because it helps make it easier to distribute data across application services and therefore make data actionable. Gaining important insights and automated decision-making requires the processing of exponentially substantial amounts of data – in aggregate.
When applying analytics techniques, including modern artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, cloud resource and storage scale is required to process the volume of data needed to drive more precision for accuracy in forecasting, anomaly detection or any other inference needed in automated decision making. Legacy data constructs cannot keep up with modern analytic process needs, and most data modernization efforts are transitioning to the cloud services for these same reasons.
The final piece to use data assets better is to modernize visualization of the informational insights gained from data, then use front-end dashboard and portal access and user interface wireframes frequently created with cloud services.
Enhancing zero trust
Ransomware attacks are on the rise, so organizations are investing in top-level security practices to protect themselves. At the top of that list is zero trust. Zero trust is a framework that will improve the security postures of your organization, but it has its limits. Moving to a zero-trust network architecture in the cloud can strengthen this approach and offers an extra layer of protection. To move to a zero-trust network architecture in the cloud, start with a shift in prevention strategy.
This requires a fundamental shift of ensuring a 100% prevention strategy around the “internal network” to a strategy that prioritizes rapid detection and isolation, with optimal response and 100% assurance on recoverability – all to protect a shifting perimeter that is now about the remote user.
It also requires the ability to process telemetry data across all IT services, including cloud, in all its forms — infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, and software as a service. That requires the integration of cloud application service brokers and cloud security posture management for integrated risk management.
Tying all this together through a cybersecurity service mesh that allows for the curation of telemetry data correlated for the specific needs of the service is the best option. Secure services edge and integrating platforms to support endpoint detection and response policies are also key.
To compete in today’s IT landscape, cloud needs to be an essential part of your enterprise. Cloud technology improves upon your existing platforms, making it easier to navigate a potential market downturn and continue improving business outcomes for your organization.
As companies prepare to batten down the hatches for a potential market downturn, now is not the time to cut back on cloud. In fact, it is time to double down.
Robert Kim is chief technology officer at digital services and solutions provider Presidio Inc. He wrote this article for SiliconANGLE.