by Sten Vesterli
As cloud becomes ubiquitous in the enterprise, some organizations are realizing big gains through an enhanced customer and user experience and cost efficiencies. On the other hand, some enterprises move to the cloud only to find that it provides them with no advantage at all.
That is because there is a misconception that IT governance matters less when enterprises move to the cloud. In fact, in 2016, a well-managed IT organization and strategy may be the most important factor in the success of cloud projects.Governance and security
One of the top concerns of organizations considering moving applications to the cloud is security. According to the Netwrix 2015 Cloud Security Survey, 66 percent of enterprises worry about security and privacy, and 28 percent say that they are waiting for better security mechanisms before they move more functionality into the cloud.
With more and more services running in the cloud, new integration issues will appear when changes in one system has to trigger events in another, or when the organization needs to collate data from several cloud systems into one report.”
These reservations reflect both an over-confidence in the existing on-premise security model and a general lack of confidence in the cloud vendors. The fact is, the major cloud vendors can implement security way beyond what all by the largest enterprises can muster.
Moving to the cloud increases perimeter security dramatically, but in itself does nothing to mitigate the insider threat. In their top predictions for IT organizations and users for 2016, Gartner predicts that “through 2020, 95 percent of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.”
Enterprises with good security practices, cultivated by their IT organizations, will experience increased security when moving to the cloud. In enterprises with poor security practices or weak governance, however, naive users can easily misconfigure their cloud services and increase their security risks.Integration
Integration is a major factor in the success of cloud adoption. With more and more services running in the cloud, new integration issues will appear when changes in one system has to trigger events in another, or when the organization needs to collate data from several cloud systems into one report. As a personal computing example, how many times has a browser update affected the functionality of your browser add-ons?
Companies with less mature IT development practices, a lack of governance, or powerless IT managers typically depend on manual programming to connect systems. According to the report “Connectivity in the Enterprise: The Rise of Cloud and Its Integration Challenges” by Scribe Software, 54 percent use hand-built interfaces, and 59 percent are not satisfied with their ability to connect cloud with on-premise systems.
Mature IT organizations with a good overview of their systems can use emerging integration tools to connect to the cloud. This practice involves not only the proper technology, but also the right governance strategy for implementing and managing cloud systems.
Cloud is an accelerator, for better or worse. It allows you to add new capabilities to your IT landscape much faster, but it also amplifies any weaknesses in your security and other internal processes. It also amplifies weaknesses in your architecture when you have to expensively and slowly hand-craft each interface. But with a well-managed IT organization that has the power to develop and govern strategy and tools, your enterprise will thrive in the cloud.
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