In March this year, the Covid-19 pandemic changed the landscape overnight and organisations responded by deploying and adopting cloud technologies at a rate that was way beyond anyone’s imagination.
Those working in IT became the superheroes of the global enterprise, rolling out programmes of digital transformation at breakneck speeds to simply keep businesses in business. But for IT teams, the work isn’t over. Today they are getting to grips with a whole new reality of cloud services and their associated support and maintenance requirements.
“In recent months, IT teams have had their backs to the wall. Many have had to deploy solutions rapidly without the time to adequately understand the full security and configuration implications. The delivery of functionality was the primary, if not the only objective,” said Robin Gardner, Strategic Services Director at Xtravirt.
You have adopted cloud, but have you got a handle on risk and compliance?
According to Xtravirt, a leading cloud consulting and managed services business, many IT teams were under huge pressure to support business survival. They had to identify and implement solutions to ensure that employees could work from home and decisions needed to be made quickly.
Whilst IT teams can quite rightly be hugely proud of what was achieved in such a short timeframe, the priority now is to fully understand whether risks have been introduced as a result and set out plans to remediate.
For businesses who took a leap of faith and quickly leveraged cloud solutions, Xtravirt believes the challenge on IT teams is two-fold:
- They need to rapidly identify and assess the risk and vulnerabilities within the ‘new and unknown’ environments created.
- Without the necessary skills or capacity in-house to identify and resolve the risks, they need to find new ways to ensure they maintain a healthy cloud environment.
Furthermore, according to Xtravirt’s Robin Gardner, “IT teams face the unenviable task of the need to manage Board and regulatory expectations against a reality of new platforms and changing business priorities”.
Risk and compliance in the cloud – perception versus reality
Risk | Audit teams and Board members are expecting:
- Maintenance is carried out in line with policies
- Information Security risks are understood and actively managed
- Regulatory requirements are consistently met
- Business leaders are assuming:
- The money spent on transformation will have addressed all the risks
- Cloud just works and someone else takes care of managing it
- You can prove the business is in full control of risk and compliance
Reality | For IT teams, the reality is working out how to get control of risk and compliance in the cloud:
- Cloud services continually change with new features added and some removed
- Best practice evolves and recommendations are updated persistently
- Skills need to be focussed on supporting business survival and growth
- Maintenance is reactive to incidents
Technology has always evolved, yet cloud has accelerated the pace of change to a whole new level and continually drives new requirements that are out of an organisation’s control.
Keeping pace with change in the cloud
Whilst on-premise technologies may have a monthly or quarterly standardised patch cycle alongside critical fixes, minor and major updates, in the cloud there is a continuous cycle of requirements to be met.
So, just how do organisations keep on top of risks, act on vendor recommendations and updates and adhere to best practice?
Preventative and proactive maintenance should be the mainstay of IT Operations in both a legacy and a cloud world. The process can be dramatically simplified using tools such as Runecast Analyzer which evaluates core technologies in cloud and datacentre environments against vendor knowledge bases, patch guidelines and information security standards.
The partnership between Runecast and leading Cloud Managed Service Provider, Xtravirt, is a response to a growing need to not only report incident counts and resolution times to customers, but also compliance and risk factors, and to provide recommendations.
Xtravirt have embedded Runecast Analyzer in several of their Managed Services offerings including Risk and Compliance Assessments and Cloud Health Checks.
Want to learn more?
Runecast and Xtravirt are hosting a live webinar ‘Keeping your cloud services continually compliant: Strategies to avoid the descent to legacy’ on 4th November 2020.
Join the webinar to learn:
- How can your business ensure it unlocks the full value of its cloud and digital transformation investments?
- How can your business better understand and manage risk and compliance in the private, hybrid or multi-cloud?
- From next-generation managed services, to predictive analytics and compliance software – what new solutions are available today to support IT operations, making sure your free to support key business priorities?
Click here to secure your seat!