We asked Florian van Keulen: Three questions about the cloud

The modernization of IT and the cloud migration or integration that comes with it continue to be a key topic for CIOs in 2020. Word has gotten out about the benefits of the cloud, such as improved scalability of IT services, increasing IT security, higher availability and plannable costs for IT resources. This is also underlined by the findings of the latest Lünendonk study. According to the study, only ten percent of CIOs surveyed still utilize the classic licensing model when choosing new software solutions. The others have a clear cloud strategy.

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According to surveys, the biggest stumbling blocks for using clouds are still the issues of security and data protection. Is that true for you, too? Do you pass up opportunities that would arise from using the cloud because you are worried about putting data in the cloud? Or does the topic of the cloud create a bit of uncontrolled chaos in your company IT because each department does their own thing and uses a different cloud application? We asked our cloud expert, Florian van Keulen, which arguments he uses to counter these questions, how companies can address the issue of shadow IT and which cloud platform is the right one.

Data protection and security – what do you recommend to your customers?

florian-van-keulen@1xFlorian van Keulen: The aspect of data security is probably the most important when considering a private cloud, public cloud or hybrid cloud. Here, it is important to ask the question of what role the data and information your company wants to store play and whether they are subject to specific compliance requirements. The nature of the data and the degree of confidentiality determines which data and applications can be processed in the data centres of the cloud providers. For sensitive personal data, the strict data protection regulations of the GDPR apply; these must be protected accordingly.

This can be achieved – if needed with the help of an external consultant – by taking the current data protection and security aspects as well as all previously announced legal changes into consideration already during planning. It is also important to choose the cloud provider carefully and then integrate it into the company in a fundamental way. Topics like cloud governance, core security services, connectivity, subscription and cost management need to be defined and laid out centrally so that each project can be based on these in a uniform and controlled way. Provided that you take these aspects into consideration when developing and implementing the cloud project, the data could even be safer and in greater compliance with GDPR than in your in-house IT environment.

The cloud can be used easily and quickly these days. As a result, many companies are soon faced with a dangerous proliferation of different services, especially in terms of compliance. How can companies get a handle once more on their cloud activity?

Florian van Keulen: Employees in specialist departments can get cloud applications and services in just minutes and start using them right away. Shadow IT is so widespread in most companies that the IT departments aren’t even worrying about how best to address this proliferation. It’s more a matter of integrating the different cloud applications into the company IT and especially about ensuring that the data are properly stored and protected in the cloud. At the same time, guidelines for using the cloud need to be developed, implemented and monitored. This requires a tailored cloud policy that regulates the use of cloud services in the company and monitors it automatically.  This is, ideally, also integrated into the cloud services that are used. It can also be a good move to provide self-service, compliant cloud environments for your internal departments and teams. That gives your employees an incentive to prefer this offer over others without limiting the use of modern services.

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It takes a thoroughly planned procedure to solve your problem in the long run. If you manage to integrate the shadow IT in this way, then your IT department will be able to position itself as a creative innovation partner for business that understands the needs of the specialist departments and also supports these.  

Just like Microsoft dominates operating systems and office programs with Windows and Office, that also seems to be the case with Azure and the cloud. How does Trivadis view this?

Florian van Keulen: In fact, Microsoft solutions also dominate the cloud. At Trivadis, we always draw on the problems and challenges of our customers. You’ll get scalable, flexible cloud solutions that are always perfectly adapted to your individual requirements on the platform that is right for you.  We use Azure for this, but also AWS or Oracle if that is what the customer needs or wants.

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Topics: Nachgefragt Cloud Computing Digital Business Transformation Security