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Cloud computing: What’s coming next and how you can help your business to prepare

Cloud computing: What’s coming next and how you can help your business to prepare

Cloud computing: What's coming next and how you can help your business to prepare

This device is unable to play the requested video. The cloud is now accepted by almost all CIOs as a standard way to procure systems and services simply and quickly. But as the cloud continues its apparently inexorable rise, how will on-demand IT continue to evolve through the next decade? Four experts give us their view on how to prepare for the future of the cloud. 1. Use the cloud as a platform for innovation Gregor Petri, research vice president at Gartner, says CIOs looking to embrace the cloud must go beyond lifting and shifting existing applications. Rather than thinking of the cloud as a place that runs today’s applications, CIOs looking to the long-term use of the cloud should concentrate on disruption instead. "Focus on a much more applied level of functionality. Look for areas where you can use the cloud as a platform to create unique functionality and a special experience. Many of these experiences will be digital," he says. "And to do that, you need a slew of supporting services, like voice, search and databases, and many of those will be best-supported by the cloud, rather than traditional hardware. Only do what you want to yourself as a business; consume the rest as a service." Petri sees the future of the cloud as a platform for innovation. He says CIOs will use on-demand IT resources as a platform to run emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, and even quantum computing. "We’ll be running lots of things in businesses we don’t even have today," says Petri. "These are quite compute-intensive technologies and to get that resource on-premise is a big hurdle. These technologies will also be associated to bursts of activity, so not having to own hardware is attractive." 2. Think about how you might develop localised cloud services Alex von Schirmeister, chief digital, technology and innovation officer at RS Components, says the cloud gives his firm service flexibilities and cost efficiencies that were previously unavailable. Yet despite his own successes, von Schirmeister believes CIOs thinking of making a move to the cloud in the future will still encounter non-IT executives who believe embracing on-demand IT comes with a degree of business risk. If a large cloud-based service goes down, says von Schirmeister, it can wipe out the operational activities of entire companies or even industries. Compliance is also a concern for executives, especially when it comes to the General Data Protection Regulation and the geographical location of data. Must read The regulatory bind of managing cloud arrangements is only likely to increase in the future as governments attempt to legislate for the storage and use of data. The result of this continuing legislation, says von Schirmeister, is that CIOs must consider how they might build much more localised cloud services. "I do think there will increasingly be a notion where various companies start looking at private clouds or virtual clouds that are contained within certain boundaries and barriers," he says. "It may be […]

Securing serverless computing, the latest cloud paradigm [Q&A]

Securing serverless computing, the latest cloud paradigm [Q&A]

Securing serverless computing, the latest cloud paradigm [Q&A]

The cloud-skills shortage has made security a major challenge for enterprises. In fact, virtually every data breach in the cloud today is due to human error, rather than brilliant hacking. Hackers don’t even bother launching attacks in the public cloud; they simply look for misconfigured systems that leave data exposed. Against this backdrop, a whole new cloud model is taking hold — serverless computing. In a world where cloud certifications and security skills are already in short supply and causing chaos in the cloud, what will serverless computing do to compound that problem for enterprises? Is it possible for organizations to avoid making the same mistakes with this new paradigm that they are making in traditional cloud environments? To shed some light on this issue, we spoke with Joe Vadakkan, cloud security leader at Optiv Security , the world’s largest security solutions integrator. BN: What is serverless computing? JV: Serverless computing, or Function-as-a-Service (FaaS), is a cloud computing model that enables developers to deploy and run individual code functions rather than having to deploy entire applications. Services such as AWS Lambda and Microsoft Azure Functions, which are rapidly growing in popularity, offer FaaS platforms that make serverless computing and true utility computing a reality by allowing developers to deploy code functions in the cloud, rather than entire applications, and only pay for the exact resource usage of those functions in a completely automated environment, rather than pre-paying for capacity to run entire applications that require human management. So, instead of deploying an application in a discrete virtual machine, developers deploy their application functionality directly onto a FaaS platform, and all the underlying traditional server capabilities (computes, memory, backup, storage, etc.) are abstracted out and taken care of by the cloud provider. This model provides a number of benefits to developers, including reduced security overhead, cost-savings, increased productivity and auto-scaling, which is why we’re seeing an uptick in adoption of this new cloud paradigm. BN: How is it different from traditional cloud computing? JV: Serverless computing is a type of cloud computing, but there are two major differences between the two models that are important to note. First, serverless computing automates security and database management tasks, such as patching, storage and backup, that, in a traditional cloud environment, end users are responsible for managing manually. The second major difference between the two computing models is in the division of responsibilities between the cloud provider and the application owner. In a traditional cloud environment, end users are responsible for securing operating systems, applications and data. With serverless computing, more of the responsibility for securing the underlying platform is offloaded to the cloud provider, so developers really only need to focus on securing the data and the code layer. BN: Organizations continue to face cloud security challenges, and now serverless computing is in the picture. What makes it difficult to secure these environments? JV: First, the good news. Because, in a serverless environment, the onus of securing the underlying infrastructure is delegated […]

What is Cloud computing and why does it matter to business?

What is Cloud computing and why does it matter to business?

What is Cloud computing and why does it matter to business?Cloud computing refers to the provision of IT infrastructure, operating software, middleware and applications hosted within a datacentre and accessed by the end user via the Internet. So what is Cloud computing in business and what are the main trends? Cloud computing is typically sold using three service models: Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): a model for renting out IT hardware, such as servers, data centre space or networking components, to IT systems administrators or network architects, saving them the cost of buying and building their own in-house data centre. Platform as a service (PaaS): a model for providing IT platforms to allow app developers to create, run and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app. Software as a service (SaaS): a model for licensing and delivering centrally hosted software via the Internet on a subscription basis to corporations and consumers. Why does Cloud computing matter to business? Cloud computing makes it easier, cheaper and faster to run state-of-the-art IT architectures in any type of company, large or small. The key benefits are: Cost: Significant cost savings are likely across a company’s IT budget. Cash flow: The billing is typically metered on usage, so IT expenditure shifts from one-off, upfront capital expenditure to monthly operating expenses, offering a cash flow advantage. Flexibility: Businesses can rent IT equipment and applications as needed, rather than buying hardware and software assets outright. Scalability: Computing capabilities like storage, processing power or network bandwidth can be scaled-up almost instantly and scaled-down again depending on demand and users are unlikely to ever be short of capacity. Ubiquitous access: IT resources can be accessed by any authorised users on any authorised devices from any authorised location using an Internet connection. Businesses benefit from cheaper, faster, more scalable IT resources in the Cloud and users get a better experience. A virtuous circle exists between software users and software developers in SaaS Clouds: developers can improve the software faster because they can see usage and performance data in real time. Meanwhile, users get the latest software upgrades as soon as they are released, without having to pay more or having to fiddle with clumsy downloads. This connectivity between user and SaaS provider makes for a significantly superior business model than the traditional on-premise software license and support model. It is this connectivity that is the game-changer for the enterprise application software industry. The Cloud enables the best of breed SaaS providers to connect not only users with the development team but also employees, partners, devices, customers and suppliers in a shared real-time SaaS network. What are the big themes in Cloud computing? Cloud lifecycle In terms of the Cloud lifecycle, industries are past the early adopter phase and have entered the mainstream adoption phase. Cloud has now gained some traction even in the most conservative industries such as financial services. Cloud native companies Many software companies are being forced to transition from a licenced software model, […]

Cloud Computing Tips for Small Businesses

Cloud Computing Tips for Small Businesses

Cloud Computing Tips for Small Businesses

Image from Pexels After implementing a cloud computing solution , 40 percent of businesses stated that they experienced better agility, meaning that they could more easily adapt to market changes and adjust their strategies to enhance growth and profit. With various cloud-based platforms now offering integrative solutions specifically for small businesses , it makes sense for them to take advantage of the industry and size-specific storage and computing options offered to truly reap the benefits of cloud technology. In implementing this technology, however, small businesses will need to understand how to avoid pitfalls and maximize their investment. Be Mindful About Data Security Sure, you’ve probably heard that cloud computing presents its users with various risks but managing data in any capacity inherently involves some sort of risk and necessity for cloud security . When implementing cloud-based solutions as part of a small business, it’s important to always have security in mind, and take preventative measures to protect your company’s data and the work of your employees. It helps to implement data security values as part of your company’s mission statement and invest time and money in training your employees how to properly use cloud-based platforms to enhance safety. Virtual private networks can increase safety when accessing the cloud and encouraging every member of a small business to use a VPN will increase security across the board. Encourage Cross-Team Collaboration One of the greatest things about living in a digital world is the access to constant communication that it provides workers with, specifically in small businesses where employees wear many different hats. In implementing cloud-based technology, it’s important for small businesses to use it to encourage this type of collaboration and communication. By allowing employees to gain access to cloud-based documents, platforms and methods of communication wherever they are, you’re able to provide them with the tools they need to not only complete their jobs effectively, but do so while communicating their issues, ideas and strategies with their coworkers. Provide Employees with Devices Allowing employees to bring their own devices to work might seem like a cost-effective solution for any small business who is struggling to get ahead, but it can be harmful to a company’s data security. If you’re going to allow employees to use their own laptops and devices when accessing a cloud network for work, it’s important to make it clear that the device must have the network’s security measures installed and properly functioning. Giving employees a device to work on in the office will ensure that they don’t take any sensitive data home with them, while also ensuring that the device isn’t being connected to networks where hackers could gain access to sensitive company data. Seeing as only 44 percent of employees think their company effectively uses the latest technology to enable them to effectively perform their role, this investment will pay off in terms of both security and productivity. Scale Your Business Mindfully Utilizing cloud-based platforms to scale a small business is a great way […]

Prepare for these 3 cloud computing challenges in 2019

Prepare for these 3 cloud computing challenges in 2019

Prepare for these 3 cloud computing challenges in 2019

“However, after they actually move workloads from on premises to the cloud, they might notice a cloud bill that’s significantly higher than their original estimations. Most often, this is because cloud users overlook factors such as networking, data transfer and storage costs. For those who use serverless platforms, application overruns can also quickly increase a cloud bill. “

For years, factors such as cloud security and compliance have posed a challenge to IT teams. But with increased adoption of hybrid and multi-cloud environments, a new wave of complexity is set to hit the enterprise in 2019. Let’s look at three prominent cloud computing challenges that admins should prepare for in the new year. Data integration efforts often get pushed aside. But, in reality, many enterprises still don’t understand how to efficiently move data from massive, on-premises databases, such as Oracle, into the cloud — or how on-premises databases will share information with cloud-native databases, such as Amazon Redshift . To address these cloud computing challenges, enterprises will increasingly adopt data integration software from vendors such as MuleSoft and Boomi. IT teams will need to carefully map out which data sets they need to sync across the cloud and on-premises environments and how often that process should occur. Do not underestimate the required efforts and cost of data integration initiatives. Cost governance and management Cost reduction is a common reason enterprises migrate to cloud. However, after they actually move workloads from on premises to the cloud, they might notice a cloud bill that’s significantly higher than their original estimations. Most often, this is because cloud users overlook factors such as networking, data transfer and storage costs. For those who use serverless platforms, application overruns can also quickly increase a cloud bill. Additionally, multi-cloud deployments, where enterprises use a mix of public cloud platforms, can make it more complex for teams to track and optimize costs. In light of these cloud computing challenges, many enterprises will turn to cost management and governance tools, such as Cloud Cruiser or VMware’s CloudHealth, to monitor usage, track spending and allocate costs. Some tools also provide recommendations on how to reduce costs, such as resizing instances or tapping into a provider discount through options such as AWS Reserved Instances and Google Committed Use Discounts . AWS, Azure and Google also offer their own native cost management tools, as well as pricing calculators to better estimate future spending. As enterprises continue to adopt cloud — and, specifically, hybrid and multi-cloud models — that doesn’t mean traditional, on-premises systems will go away anytime soon. Because of this, the management of data, applications and IT processes will become much more complex. In some cases, this might even hamper IT staffs’ ability to effectively do their jobs. What cloud challenges do you expect in 2019? What cloud challenges do you expect in 2019? Complexity has always been a part of IT, but the industry is approaching a tipping point. Heterogeneous architectures that span multiple cloud and on-premises platforms pose management challenges that, in some cases, result in errors that lead to outages, breaches and a loss of control over service delivery to end users and the business. Enterprises need to develop processes and invest in technology that can bring some stability back to IT and place that complexity and volatility into a configurable domain. Tools and resources […]

The future of cloud computing in 2019

The future of cloud computing in 2019

The future of cloud computing in 2019Cloud adoption has seen a significant increase over the last few years. Businesses need to take a measured approach, looking at all available options to assess where the workloads really belong, based on business need, existing IT infrastructure, cost and security considerations, etc. They also should fully explore and determine the compute resource potential in existing desktops and servers in the organization’s current IT infrastructure. We know that PC and CPU capacity is typically 80 percent available, 80 percent of the time, resulting in significant untapped compute resources for most organizations. Most companies will benefit from a combination of cloud and private infrastructure—mixed ecosystems that offer cost efficiencies and requisite security controls, along with optimizing compute capacity and existing IT investments.

Cloud adoption has seen a significant increase over the last few years and recent reports from Gartner suggest that we will see a 50 per cent investment in cloud technology over the next four years. The cloud is obviously here to stay but many companies are currently rushing to migrate to the cloud because they believe it goes hand-in-hand with innovation. TechRadar Pro spoke with Kazuhm’s CEO and Co-Founder Tim O’Neal to find out if cloud is really the future and what precautions companies can take during a cloud migration to ensure that their data remains secure. How can businesses make the most of their current compute resources? Businesses need to take a measured approach, looking at all available options to assess where the workloads really belong, based on business need, existing IT infrastructure, cost and security considerations, etc. They also should fully explore and determine the compute resource potential in existing desktops and servers in the organization’s current IT infrastructure. This can be recaptured and made available for running workloads at little to no incremental cost. We know that PC and CPU capacity is typically 80 percent available, 80 percent of the time, resulting in significant untapped compute resources for most organizations. Cost savings associated with leveraging unused on-premise compute capacity comes not only from now being able to keep workloads on-premise in the first place but also from being able to repatriate existing workloads out of the cloud and back in-house. What are biggest mistakes companies make when moving to the cloud? 1. Hopping on the cloud-first bandwagon too hastily, simply because the pundits have said it’s the thing to do. 2. Arbitrarily believing migration to the cloud will automatically result in cost savings. 3. Not considering on-premise capacity and how tapping these resources could meet the need more efficiently. 4. Not fully understanding risks and cost associated with the cloud. For example, will you be locked into a long-term contract with your cloud provider? Do you have the required skills? Will your cloud provider offer the service and support you need? Are there hidden data ingress and egress fees? 5. Overlooking the need to consider accountability and data stewardship, in alignment with both legal and regulatory requirements (think GDPR ) and the tenets of ethical data use. Is cloud computing really the future for all industries or are there businesses that would be better off keeping their systems on-premise? We believe in a future that benefits from both on-premise and cloud resources. There is a need for both and different industries—and certainly different organizations—will have distinct needs and considerations influencing the degree to which these options are tapped. The conversation should be about optimal workload placement across ALL resources. Most companies will benefit from a combination of cloud and private infrastructure—mixed ecosystems that offer cost efficiencies and requisite security controls, along with optimizing compute capacity and existing IT investments. Do you think there will be an increase in cloud consultancies to help address organizations’ growing cloud […]

 

 

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