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Security in the Hybrid Cloud

Security is a primary concern for many organizations making the transition to cloud.  In the blog, “Taking a Hybrid Cloud Approach to Security”, cloud provider Presidio shares how building a hybrid cloud enables you to maximize security while maximizing flexibility at the same time.

Security in this instance can be thought of in terms of risk.  For example, sensitive data and mission-critical applications need a higher level of security than a devops test environment.  The challenge for organizations is to accurately assess their risk and align their security strategy with their business objectives.  Threats can come from outside – and inside – an organization.  The best response to threats goes beyond just the technology underlying your data center and that of your cloud provider.

The truth is, your organization is unique.  This means your security strategy is going to be unique as well.  The foundation of a solid, comprehensive strategy is, of course, an enterprise-class architecture with end-to-end security.  To be complete, however, security policies must be in place which meet the specific security needs of your organization and regulations of your industry.

The architecture must also be supported by procedures that enable the members of your organization to easily comply with these security policies.  These procedures must be effective while at the same time not getting in way of the workflows or corporate culture already in place.

Developing – and successfully implementing – such a security strategy can be extremely complex.  For organizations new to cloud, especially hybrid clouds, understanding the nuances of comprehensive security may be outside their expertise.  This is why an experienced cloud provider is crucial to any secure hybrid cloud deployment.  One size does not fit all, nor are all clouds created equal.  The right cloud provider can be a powerful partner in maximizing your ability to benefit from a hybrid cloud.

How can you find the right partner?  Ask how much they can do for you.  Not just what they offer every customer.  What can they bring to the table in terms of experience with your industry?  Can they help assess your requirements and risks?  Do they offer security beyond the commodity-based cloud offerings so common in the market?

A hybrid approach to cloud has much to offer organizations of all sizes.  And when deployed with the right partners, you can have confidence in the security of your data and applications.

Learn more about how Hybrid Cloud and Cisco Powered cloud and managed services can transform your business.

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Introducing Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite

Forrester research indicates that private cloud has entered into the formal IT portfolio by becoming a core part of data center strategy.   I have been writing about the sea change underway in private cloud.  This sea change means that automating the provisioning of virtual machines and their infrastructure is inadequate in a world where your users  expect continuous delivery.

Application developers want to accelerate application stack design and deployment.  Your customers expect to consume applications and their supporting infrastructures on-demand and take delivery within minutes.

Doubt this fact?  I consistently hear from senior executives about the growth of shadow IT within their organizations simply because the data center cannot meet delivery expectations.

At CiscoLive Milan today, the Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite was introduced.  I can hear your response now…..What another cloud management platform? So I will respond:  no way!

Many of today’s solutions are simple toolkits that require IT administrators to customize and maintain integrations between tools, processes, applications and teams.  IT needs to become software and infrastructure engineers.  End users have expectations of simplicity and out-of-box operation and these tools simply frustrate meeting end users expectations.

Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite is an engineered software solution not a platform. It delivers a hybrid-ready private cloud software solution that contains out-of-box installation and content.  There are out-of-box utensils designed specifically to accelerate the design and deployment of your existing and cloud-first applications – across private and hybrid environments.  Learn more by watching this video.

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Why Shadow IT is Dangerous to Your Organization

Moving to cloud offers many benefits to organizations.  However, these benefits come with a corresponding range of new challenges for IT to address.  One of these challenges is what is known as “Shadow IT.”  Shadow IT refers to activities of members within an organization to secure their own IT resources without going through a company’s IT department.

There are many compelling reasons why organizations consider Shadow IT an important issue:

Security: IT resources outside the management of a company’s IT department are also outside of their control and policy management.  Many cloud providers offer only marginal security with their baseline service; to get better security requires an upsell and higher cost.  This means that sensitive company data and digital assets may be exposed without a company’s knowledge.  As a result, a company may be at risk in many ways, either through potential loss of customer data or failure to comply with industry standards and requirements.

Cost: When cloud services are purchased individually, they cost more.  A large organization can consolidate cloud resources needs across all of its departments to achieve volume-pricing discounts.

Efficiency: A group that purchases its own cloud resources may underutilize them.  When clouds resources are managed by IT, unutilized resources can be shared with other departments.  Such a strategy increases the efficient usage of cloud resources.  In addition, fewer resources are required across the company, resulting in lower cost as well.

Unified Management: When cloud resources can be centrally managed, their management can be consistent and unified across the company.  This enables IT to ensure that cloud resources are properly protected as well as simplifies tracking allocation and usage of resources.

There is a high value in eliminating Shadow IT.  However, it is clear that relying upon policies that prohibit Shadow IT activities is not enough to solve the problem.  In the blog, “Overcome Your Shadow IT Struggles”, cloud provider Presidio discusses the reasons why Shadow IT exists.  The blog also describes how you can provide compelling reasons for members of your organization to go through IT and use internal resources.

Another important facet of eliminating Shadow IT is selecting the right cloud services and provider.  It does little good to consolidate cloud access if the services IT brokers to the organization don’t provide enterprise-class security, performance, and flexibility as a baseline.

Learn more about how Hybrid Cloud and Cisco Powered cloud and managed services can transform your business.

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Summary: Top 10 ICT Trends in 2015: are you ready for digital transformation?

By Kevin Bloch, Cisco Chief Technology Officer, Australia and New Zealand

One of the best parts about my job is that I get to spend a lot of time listening to some very smart people, both internally within Cisco and externally. As we touch so many parts of the global technology industry and market, it puts me in a fantastic position to see what’s coming down the track. So, each year around this time, I take the opportunity to offer some predictions for the year ahead (which, incidentally, is Cisco’s 30th birthday).

It will probably come as no surprise that the biggest theme you’ll hear about this year is digital transformation, which is essentially underpinned by the Internet of Everything (IoE). In the next twelve months, enterprises will spend more than $40 billion globally, designing, implementing and operating the Internet of Things (IoT). Already thirty-eight percent of technology spend is outside of IT.

Read the full Top 10 ICT Trends in 2015 blog and feel free to provide any feedback.

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What’s Inside Your Cloud?

One of the key benefits of moving to the cloud is that someone else–your service provider–takes care of the day-to-day management of your technology.  You can focus on adding value at a higher level. Scale capacity and increase your company’s productivity by introducing new capabilities such as collaboration applications or desktop-as-a-service.

Unfortunately, not all clouds are created equal.  The success of your business relies upon the quality of the services you choose.  You might not experience the level of losses Best Buy did when their site went down on Black Friday, but unplanned downtime can still seriously hurt your business.

The technology inside the cloud services you use really does matter.  When you buy commodity-class services, you have no guarantee of the performance, reliability, or even availability of your business-critical data and applications.

This is why Intel and Cisco are working together to deliver enterprise-class cloud services you can rely upon.  These two leaders offer more than just promises.  Both companies have a long history of proven quality and reliability.  Services built upon their technology provide fast time-to-market, offer assured performance, and leverage ongoing innovation.

This assurance of quality is extended to your service provider as well.  Cisco identifies cloud providers meeting its highest standards with the Cisco Powered logo.  These partners must undergo a rigorous third-party audit to verify that they are able to deliver as promised.  This means your services are also protected with end-to-end security.  And, with the rise of the Intercloud, you’ll benefit from workload portability between clouds and the ability to comply with local data sovereignty regulations.

You trust Intel and Cisco inside your data center.  Now you can trust them inside your cloud services.  Intel and Cisco.  Connect with confidence.

Learn more about how Intel and Cisco are working together in The Future is in the Clouds.  To find a cloud provider who can offer you the reliability of Intel and Cisco together, visit the Intel Cloud Finder.

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