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Is your IT department currently acting as a Cloud services broker?And what exactly is a Cloud services broker?
As our world of many clouds continues to evolve, increased opportunities exist for IT departments to move from the traditional “siloed” working environments to play a more critical role in corporate planning strategies.
Aligning IT and business objectives are duties handled by an IT services broker, who is usually the company CIO.
The time is now for corporations to begin viewing their IT departments as more than the group that resets passwords and helps new-hires with their computer set-ups.
In order to manage the cloud transition and embrace the role of cloud services brokers, CIOs and IT leaders should consider these five steps:
1) Develop your future thinking and let go of the idea of how your IT department has done things in the past and think about what processes can be reengineered or what new capabilities need to be developed. Your IT group is best able to identify technology gaps in an organization’s processes as CIOs contend with hybrid cloud environments.
2) Create your Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Building Block and ensure it’s agile, so your IT department can manage infrastructure services in a highly automated fashion and deliver to users in just minutes. By enabling a hybrid cloud environment in the IaaS layer, IT can more easily play the role of cloud services broker.
3) Add the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), which uses the agility in the IaaS foundation. Ultimately, this delivers greater efficiencies and flexibility in the deployment and deployment of cloud workloads. Without PaaS, development and testing of initiatives would require dedicated capacity to be allocated by IT.
4) Ensure required security standards. The SaaS and Infrastructure Security building block is where IT’s ability to serve as a cloud service broker plays a critical role and for an organization’s integrity, cloud-based services are best managed by them as a one cohesive infrastructure.
5) Make your vision a reality and implement transformational change! Now that you’ve assembled all the necessary building blocks, find a trusted partner to help you define and implement your vision. Tools like Cisco Domain Ten can help your IT department create evaluation criteria that helps them play their role as cloud services broker.
If you want to learn more about how to prepare for growing cloud workloads, how to evolve your IT department to harness the true potential of the cloud, and how to develop a more strategic approach to IT operations and service management, be sure to :
The Internet of Everything (IoE) is changing the business and IT landscape, fueling unprecedented growth and disruption. As such, just thinking about cloud deployment is not enough. Organizational leaders need a cloud strategy to help future-proof their business and better meet objectives.
In fact, according to Gartner, organizations that continually monitor cloud computing trends and subsequently update the enterprise’s cloud strategy, will likely avoid costly mistakes and garner the most value from market opportunities over the next few years.
As CXOs adopt cloud strategies, what key trends should they keep in mind?
Here’s a short list for consideration:
Trend #1: Prepare for Growing Cloud Workloads
Today’s world isn’t just a world of many clouds, but also a world of growing cloud workloads.
Security concerns around cloud adoption can keep many IT and business leaders up at night. This blog series examines how organizations can take control of their cloud strategies. The first blog of this series discussing the role of data security in the cloud can be found here. The second blog of this series highlighting drivers for managed security and what to look for in a cloud provider can be found here.
In today’s workplace, employees are encouraged to find the most agile ways to accomplish business: this extends beyond using their own devices to work on from anywhere, anytime and at any place to now choosing which cloud services to use.
Why Bring Your Own Service Needs to be on Infosec’s Radar
In many instances, most of this happens with little IT engagement. In fact, according to a 2013 Fortinet Survey, Generation Y users are increasingly willing to skirt such policies to use their own devices and cloud services. Couple this user behavior with estimates from Cisco’s Global Cloud Index that by the year 2017, over two thirds of all data center traffic will be based in the cloud proves that cloud computing is undeniable and unstoppable.
With this information in mind, how should IT and InfoSec teams manage their company’s data when hundreds of instances of new cloud deployments happen each month without their knowledge?
Additionally, what provisions need to be in place to limit risks from data being stored, processed and managed by third parties?
Here are a few considerations for IT and InfoSec teams as they try to secure our world of many clouds:
Dave Barnes, CIO of UPS, shares his perspective on the Internet of Everything.
The Internet of Everything has transformed the operations of UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company and a leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics services. For starters, the Internet enables UPS to help businesses everywhere deliver on the promise of e-commerce. UPS connects its customers to their customers in ways that improve global supply chains – and at the same time, allows customers to track their packages as they zip their way through UPS’s logistics network.
The Internet also helps UPS optimize its operations: As customers go online to schedule their pickup, UPS computers begin mapping the best way to move this incoming wave of packages – even before they’ve physically entered the UPS system. Being wired into the world enables UPS to deliver more than 16 million packages each day – and 4 billion packages a year – for nearly 9 million customers in more than 220 countries and territories.
Being wired also helps UPS drive smarter. To reduce the time –and fuel – needed to deliver those 4 billion packages, UPS has pioneered a proprietary new mapping and optimization solution known as ORION. ORION – short for On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation network – reviews the package information, the delivery instructions given by customers and the wireless data feeds from the handheld computers used by UPS drivers. ORION processes this data using advanced routing algorithms and then provides each driver with the optimal path to make that day’s run. UPS’s network also wirelessly transmits real-time alerts and updates to drivers as they run their routes.
The Internet of Everything is also enabling UPS to offer customers a more personalized delivery experience. Today, UPS customers have the ability to schedule delivery windows, provide special handling instructions – and redirect a package to another location even when it’s on its way. Thanks to the Internet, UPS can give customers big and small the VIP treatment.
The first blog of this series discussing the role of data security in the cloud can be found here.
In 2014 and onward, security professionals can expect to see entire corporate perimeters extended to the cloud, making it essential to choose a service provider that can deliver the security that your business needs.
While organizations can let business needs trade down security we’ve begun to see how a recent slew of data breaches are encouraging greater vigilance around security concerns. For example, a recent CloudTweaks article highlights the need for organizations to be confident in their choice of cloud providers and their control over data. IT leaders have the power to control where sensitive information is stored. They also have the power to choose how, where and by whom information can be accessed.
An important driver in mitigating risk and increasing security is to ask the right questions.
Institute Control By Asking the Right Questions
However, adding to fears about ceding the control of data to the cloud is lack of transparency and accountability about how cloud hosting partner/ providers secure data and ensure a secure and compliant infrastructure. Cloud consuming organizations often don’t ask enough questions about what is contained in their service-level agreements, and about the process for updating security software and patching both network and API vulnerabilities.
Organizations need reassurance that a cloud provider has a robust set of policies, process and than is using automated as well as the latest technologies to detect, thwart and mitigate attacks, while in progress as well as be prepared to mitigate after an attack.
An important driver in mitigating risk and increasing security is to ask the right questions. When evaluating cloud service providers, IT leaders need to ask: Read the full blog here.