Pritesh Parekh is the Chief Trust & Security Officer, VP of Engineering at Virtustream (A Dell Technologies Business)
Embrace cloud-native solutions and a unified security approach to streamline your IT modernization journey.
Not too long ago, it used to be commonplace for discussions with IT organizations to revolve around convincing the skeptics of the many benefits of cloud. This is no longer the case. Through the years, those discussions evolved because IT leaders grew to understand the clear value of adopting cloud. Not only can cloud be a more secure, elastic and scalable approach to managing workloads, but it is also integral to those on their IT modernization journey.
One of the key advantages of cloud solutions today is the IT flexibility that organizations can gain to manage modern workloads and adopt the latest innovative technologies while controlling costs.
One of the first hurdles to avoid is taking a lift-and-shift approach to cloud adoption, which can lead to higher costs, increased cybersecurity risks and the inability to fully realize the benefits of cloud. Existing business systems and applications were historically built to run in on-premises data centers. As a result, simply moving them to the cloud does not necessarily translate into the full realization of cloud benefits. Likewise, the tools and techniques used to manage these on-premises workloads cannot simply extend into the cloud.
Companies that take an on-premises approach and repurpose it for cloud deployment can face unnecessary complexity and expense, ultimately undermining the benefits of running workloads in the cloud. In order to realize true cloud success, you must couple cloud migration with IT modernization, thus taking advantage of all that cloud technology has to offer — in particular, transforming your approach to cybersecurity.
In cloud we trust: Start by unifying your IT security.
IT organizations understandably want to ensure they can offer users the same services and performance in the cloud that they currently have on-premises. However, by implementing cloud-native replacements for systems and applications, agencies can exceed these expectations rather than only meet them.
The goal is to give users secure, seamless access to all the tools and data they need via the cloud. In the interim, large enterprises and government agencies will have to operate in a hybrid environment with some workloads still running in on-premises data centers until they can be transitioned more completely into the cloud. Having different programs for managing and securing workloads in a data center versus the cloud can be challenging. Therefore, IT organizations should look for opportunities to unify their approach to security processes and controls across all environments.
This can be a hurdle for some, in part because their IT teams may lack the necessary cloud skill sets. Migrating, managing and securing workloads in the cloud requires specific expertise that differs significantly from the skills needed to operate a data center. If this skill gap would impact your cloud strategy, you should consider the advantages of cloud-based managed services, which can significantly accelerate the benefits of cloud computing and help you unify your security programs.
As customers explore potential cloud managed services providers to help with this transition, it’s important to closely examine the depth of their experience, proven processes or blueprints, availability of customer references, and ability to provide comprehensive services — including enterprise-class security services — all with one hand to shake through each phase of a migration, from planning to optimization to ongoing management. It’s also important to remember that there will be a learning curve for enterprises that have traditionally managed everything internally. In these situations, teams should expect some initial challenges as the off-loading of responsibilities begin, and they may want to prioritize choosing a services partner that has experience mitigating such learning curve issues.
Your cloud partnerships must be founded on the tenets of trust.
Cloud technology is essential to IT modernization because it enables organizations to rapidly adapt to fluctuating environments. User expectations, compliance requirements and workloads can change very quickly these days. By using expert cloud managed services and cloud-native applications, organizations can accelerate their pace to stay a step ahead. In fact, a recent Virtustream-commissioned study from Forrester, “How Expert Managed Services Accelerate Benefits of Multicloud,” noted that the top benefits for using managed services for multicloud strategies include more time for IT staff to work on high-priority initiatives and overall faster time to value.
IT organizations need their applications and data to be secure as they strive to enhance the performance, scalability and reliability of their mission-critical applications. Successfully moving mission-critical workloads to the cloud involves thinking strategically about your outcomes. Positive results hinge on creating partnerships with cloud providers that are based on the tenets of trust: security, compliance, privacy and transparency.
One of the best measures of transparency comes from the ability to connect with fellow IT leaders who can share their experiences and rate the health of their relationships with specific services providers. And it’s this same level of openness that you should expect from your services partners — to serve as the backbone for a trusting, transparent relationship built on open lines of communication, responsiveness, comfort in discussing concerns as they arise and a welcoming attitude to accommodate any requests for customer references.
At Virtustream, we live by our companywide motto: “Security is everyone’s job.” This vision only works if the entire team internalizes this mantra, takes personal ownership in it and understands how it helps us — and, most importantly, our customers — succeed. To that end, trust is a must. In fact, forming a trusted relationship with a mission-critical cloud partner may be the single most important step an enterprise can take on its IT journey to cloud.
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