Maintaining Secure and Resilient Clouds in Turbulent Times

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During this pandemic, global economies have tackled a two-fold challenge of not only protecting global health but also grappling with the economic impact head-on. Business stability and continuity have been paramount, especially for businesses working with mission-critical applications and data.

In the business world, we refer to certain processes, workloads, applications and data as ‘mission-critical’ when their continuity, integrity and security are paramount to the fundamental functioning of a business. In fact, when Forrester Consulting recently asked businesses around the globe about their multicloud environments, more than half of the respondents said that applications dealing with customer, financial and sensitive data were mission-critical applications.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the definition of mission-critical has rapidly morphed and intensified. Those previous mission-critical IT processes, in sectors such as healthcare, shipping and manufacturing have been more critical than ever since the world came together to save lives and secure the economy. And with much of the world’s workforce looking to continue working remotely going forward, the importance for improved levels of security, connectivity and access to business data only rises. For enterprises in particular, this means keeping systems and applications running efficiently and securely in the cloud will be fundamental as more economies emerge from restrictions.

The Real-world Requirements for Stability and Constant Availability of IT Services

Several industries have been under even more pressure to ensure continuity of service. Naturally, for healthcare providers, their mission-critical applications and patient data have become more critical than ever with increased workloads and resources under pressure. Similarly, key manufacturers, logistics companies and others continue to face growing demands and tight deadlines to produce and deliver vital products and services to other businesses.

Enterprises of all sizes have built their businesses on core applications like those from SAP. These are mission-critical workloads that require near-zero downtime in many cases, like train and metro systems, air travel, banking, pharmaceutical research and healthcare, to name just a few industries. In fact, more than 60% of the respondents to a recent Statista study say enterprise downtime can cost a business anywhere from $300,000 to $5,000,000 per hour.

The margin for IT issues is notoriously thin. In the wake of increasing cyber-attacks, it’s vital to recognize that any disruption can have a devastating impact on your business – from reputational damage to potentially huge financial losses. Cloud services must be purpose-built to deliver robust uptime SLAs, as well as protect sensitive data. As a result, we are seeing a movement towards dedicated cloud managed services partners to offer enterprises’ assurances that their systems and data are secure.

The Industry’s Understanding of the Mission-Critical Landscape Has Evolved

IT teams have had a monumental task on their hands to ensure that employees are capable and productive at home. Providing easy access to mission-critical, cloud-based applications and data can be complex. In fact, most respondents to the Forrester Consulting study say they host mission-critical applications in multiple cloud environments today, with 94% of those organizations reporting that they’ve experienced deployment or ongoing management issues related to their multicloud environments. To combat this, having the right expertise to maximize the benefits of multicloud deployments is crucial, whether that be by adding internal staff with specific multicloud experience, or by seeking out cloud managed services providers with deep expertise across multicloud deployments and mission-critical applications.

The role of technology in humanity’s effort to overcome the threats facing our world cannot be overstated. The spotlight has been focused on the race for treatments and vaccines, but equally important are the IT backbones of organizations everywhere -- keeping our hospitals open, our governments running, our factories producing vital supplies, our financial institutions stable, and our communications services humming throughout this time of uncertainty. For businesses of all shapes and sizes, there has never been a more critical time to ensure the efficiency and stability of their cloud-based IT, to keep themselves and the world’s economy moving forward post-pandemic.

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