27 Feb From Cloud Transformation to Transforming the Cloud: A Call for 2018
That’s the clarion call for modernizing businesses.
As organizations seek to focus on areas of direct customer value and reduce friction in operations, the innovations in Cloud technologies have been a real asset. In addition, as organizations have gone increasingly mobile, globalized, and dispersed, the Cloud has proven to be a light-weight, agile solution for productivity and a variety of business and operational functions.
In fact, the larger rubric of digital transformation is largely predicated on moving to The Cloud. As such, Cloud migration is a necessary condition for modernized, digitized enterprises and must be understood in this context.
Under the moniker “Cloud Transformation,” this migration has taken the corporate world by storm, traversing verticals from manufacturing to finance. The results are truly remarkable, organizations are getting up and running on complex systems in hours instead of weeks. Costs are being attributed to operating expense rather than capital expenditure. Individual productivity has increased due to seamless untethering and elasticity that allows for organizations to pay for consumption and not be trapped in a “one-size fits all” modality.
The hype-reality spectrum is closing as Cloud transformation has become a necessary fact of organizational strategy necessary for modernization and growth.
Necessary indeed but not sufficient
As with all such transformations, two faces emerge. One of the Creator and one of the Destroyer. The efficiency and cost positives are no doubt incredible, but there is more to the Cloud story than the positives. With Cloud transformation comes the increasing relevance of the three horsemen of IT: security, governance, and compliance. Wrap “data” around these three and we begin to discern the complementarity between reward and risk, to accept that with the incredible potential of the Cloud comes incredible risk as well.
Let’s delve into that for a moment; to do so, let’s take a small detour.
It’s generally accepted that data has become the world’s most valuable resource and, as such, is the most sought-after commodity by cyber-criminals. Corporate systems full of proprietary data are thus an El Dorado for increasingly sophisticated hackers who carry clear economic, political and social agendas. While locking down these vaults of “currency” was never truly possible, it has become much harder in the era of the Cloud in which access to data is increasingly democratized and storage of data is no longer particular to a specific organization’s risk profile. With the agility offered by the Cloud so too comes issues of security.
Second only to security is governance. Data is hierarchical in nature. Certain data is more important than others and not everyone should have access to, or the ability to act on all data. Even well-meaning people (employees, contractors, partners, customers) can accidentally share or act on proprietary data. Once again, in an era of on-premise computing, “lockdown” was more of an option than in the Cloud era.
The point is clear. In the Cloud era, agility, security, and governance are part of an eternal braid; they are inextricably wound together.
Which brings us back to the main point that the Cloud must work for organizations as they concentrate on growth.
The key now is to strengthen the Cloud and make Cloud computing more secure and more attuned to the needs of organizations, given their nuances and the dynamism in their states of being.
It’s high time we move beyond “Cloud Transformation” and onto transforming the Cloud.
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