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Article · 06 Nov 2018

How you balance the risk and reward of the cloud

The cloud offers such potential, but also many challenges. Every organisation’s cloud strategy is unique.

So, how do you navigate your cloud journey to make the most of its benefits, whilst avoiding the storms? In this article, we draw out some of the main cloud challenges we’ve helped our multinational customers tackle.

Your legacy infrastructure doesn’t have to keep you in the dark ages

Network infrastructure is transforming from a traditional MPLS approach to a hybrid one, with the introduction of software-defined services. This provides more control and visibility as the borders between the LAN, WAN, and data centre are blurring.

89 per cent of IT decision makers believe legacy systems to be the biggest challenge to digital transformation.

State of Enterprise IT 2018 – The evolution of IT
Vanson Bourne, 2017

Connecting from traditional infrastructure to cloud services, when it’s been built to support legacy applications and systems, is a massive task.

Organisations are wrestling with how best to meet their network performance, cost and security objectives. The performance of their network and applications is crucial to keeping their users happy, both now and into the future.

We offer choices from a range of public or private cloud environments, with the right connectivity. We deliver apps and protect data, regardless of where they’re hosted, on a global basis. And our people have the right skills and expertise, whatever the cloud deployment needed.

Our successful hybrid network approach ensures application performance, service orchestration and an infrastructure that brings together LAN, WAN and data centre services.

Mastering the multi-cloud

By 2021, at least 75 per cent of large and global organisations will have implemented a multicloud-capable hybrid integration platform, up from less than 25 per cent in 2018.

Is the Cloud Secure? Kasey Panetta, Gartner, Smarter with Gartner, 27 March 2018

A cloud migration is dictated by the needs of the business and new processes and skills are key. We have observed businesses trying to manage the cloud in the same way as they manage their traditional IT, and it’s caused them all kinds of problems, such as inefficient designs and bill shock.

And frequently, companies believe that because their proof of concept works as expected, it will be the same when they come to scaling it.

Not only are IT environments typically more than just cloud-based, not all apps may work in the cloud and traditional infrastructures often struggle to cope.

When it comes to the use of multi-clouds, a successful hybrid environment needs to be dynamic across the multiple, different providers.

We give organisations end-to-end visibility of an IT infrastructure, and the ability to configure optimal solutions for different lines of business or geographies — from IP address management to disaster recovery to cost optimisation. With our support, they have the right network, security and operational processes to more efficiently manage their cloud solutions and deliver a great user experience.

A cloud environment requires new skills and tools for security and compliance

49 per cent of businesses are delaying cloud deployment due to a cybersecurity skills gap.

(Building Trust in a Cloudy Sky: The State of Cloud Adoption and Security, Intel Security, January 2017)

As more and more organisations embrace the cloud, we are seeing new dimensions to the security challenge it presents. The cloud can magnify errors and create non-compliance, data issues and cyber-attacks.

Without the right tools and skills in place, across networks and data centres, organisations are at risk from threats developed to attack blind spots in cloud security. The skills needed are scarce across the industry, so there are issues even sourcing these people, let alone retaining them.

Businesses need to protect their entire estate — regardless of whether it’s traditional IT or cloud-based. If they don’t, they risk losing customers, damaging their reputation and affecting their revenue.

It’s a challenge to balance the risks and benefits of digital transformation whilst also protecting against new threats. We help quantify and address digital risk, be compliant and ensure data integrity — all over the world. With our built-in security services and broad portfolio of security expertise, organisations can mitigate threats to their entire infrastructure.

Find out more about how you can balance the risk and reward of the cloud.