The ‘one perfect cloud’ is much like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; no matter how hard you look, you’ll never reach it. It simply doesn’t exist.
Tech companies are often guilty of latching on to the latest developments, including the newest cloud technologies. After all, no one wants to be left behind – especially if we believe that each new development brings us closer to tech perfection.
But rather than search for an industry-wide cloud nirvana that doesn’t exist, we must make our own ideal. Organisations and their infrastructures are unique.
This is especially true when it comes to deploying the cloud: a restrictive approach that’s born out of an attachment to a strategy you once decided was right – especially if the strategy emphasises immediately jumping on any new trends or developments – could mean you don’t get the right solution for your organisation.
Alternatively, you might find that your deployment never gets out of the pilot stage because what was initially considered “smart” is suddenly out of sync with more recent demands. Instead, the correct approach is found by building and establishing the right foundations for the cloud to ensure you can be agile in delivering organisational benefits while meeting security and compliance needs.
The key to a successful cloud strategy
The success of any cloud strategy is dependent on how it fits within an organisation’s culture. To ensure adoption, employees must understand why it has been selected and how it will benefit them and their work. This is why the idea of a hybrid cloud strategy has resonated with so many organisations; it allows people to say ‘and’ rather than restrict themselves to ‘either/or’ and takes into account future changes to the business.
While the IT department has historically been the primary arbiter of technology decisions, the cloud has led to a more democratic process as a broader set of internal stakeholders see its benefit. More departments are being afforded the ability to manage their own cloud – from the marketing team building a new website in the cloud to the finance team moving its processes online to comply with HMRC regulations.
However, this has the potential to increase risk as these teams may have limited experience in implementing the security, compliance, and access necessary for the cloud.
Given these changes, it’s more important than ever to have solid security and compliance foundations to protect the wider organisation in the long run. Whether following a public, private, hybrid, or multi-approach, providing the wider organisation with a set of guardrails to guarantee a baseline of security and compliance is vital.
This could take the form of the IT department enforcing a company-wide set of rules before any department uses the cloud, or by using an off-the-shelf solution that can take the sting out of the initial setup.
Whichever option they use, businesses must consider their own culture to create a cloud that is right for them, right now. For example, some organisations may prefer to limit access rights to the cloud in order to enhance security; others may have a more open culture and want to expand access so everyone can be involved.
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Like potential guardrails around access management, a similar approach must be taken to guarantee cloud use sits comfortably within your compliance procedures from the outset. Initially, it is likely that this needs to sit with the IT team who can have complete oversight of all activity taking place within the cloud, but depending on the disparate nature of what’s being done within the cloud, it might make sense to consider how this can be outsourced so that it doesn’t become a full-time job for your internal team.
There’s no perfect solution that can be applied to all organisations using the cloud – but simply jumping on the bandwagon of the latest technology doesn’t work. Instead, organisations need to look at their own needs and built a unique cloud environment that works for them.
While this does involve upfront work, this clear and considered approach ensures businesses won’t struggle to force every advance in cloud technology to work with their operation.