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Cloud is the cornerstone of digital transformation

Nurdianah Md Nur | Jan. 7, 2016
Chris Levanes of CenturyLink talks about how hybrid cloud supports digital transformations, and dispels cloud security myths.

Hybrid cloud seems to be the preferred strategy for most organisations. Why is this so?
A one-size-fits-all approach to the adoption and implementation of IT is rarely optimal. Workloads and applications typically have different business objectives and technical requirements, and therefore, often require specific delivery mechanisms to cater for their unique needs.

To illustrate this perspective, consider data. For some data, such as a database application used for an ecommerce site, speed of access is often critical. As for data which can only be viewed by authorised users, such as company financial data, redundancy and long-term retention are typically important criteria. For sharing of large media files amongst users, perhaps low cost of storage may be paramount.

Due to varying workload requirements, regulatory adherence and/or internal governance frameworks, organisations often require a combination of colocation, dedicated servers, private cloud and public cloud to optimally deliver IT services to meet business objectives.

Could you share with us some of the difficulties related to hybrid cloud management, and how organisations should overcome them?
Businesses commonly have complex needs. For most businesses and organisations, a single deployment approach is not going to meet all the demands of their IT and business. For example, the individual needs of workloads and applications, or perhaps regulatory requirements, means a hybrid approach is often mandated.

Most cloud providers only offer a subset of possible deployment solutions. For instance, they will provide a selection of only virtual resources, or only physical cloud servers to their customers. Furthermore, many cloud providers usually do not have seamless and integrated management built into their core functionality and often require third-party products to deliver such an integrated experience.

Organisations can overcome these challenges by engaging a hybrid IT provider. Hybrid IT providers offer a comprehensive suite of services across colocation, cloud, managed hosting, managed services and network. Through an integrated portfolio of hybrid IT services, customers are able to realise a seamless experience that can meet their business requirements.

What are some cloud trends that you've seen in 2015? How do you expect these trends to change in 2016?
For many organisations, cloud technologies will act as a cornerstone to their adoption of big data analytics and digital transformation (DX).

Through the use of cost-effective cloud solutions, big data analytics is now well-regarded as a way to achieve enhanced and real-time insight on industry trends, customer behaviour and operational efficiency. Big data solutions are now also being developed to help address the security threat landscape, which remains a key challenge for many organisations in 2016.

According to IDC, the average cost of a data breach was around US$3.79 million in 2015, and the cost of cybercrime inclusive of data breaches is predicted to result in a global impact of US$650 billion in 2016. An emerging approach to addressing the security threat landscape is through the use of predictive modelling to proactively detect suspicious patterns and potential threats. While current application of data-driven security intelligence is still nascent, further maturing of these technologies will soon result in mainstream adoption.


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