By 2020, it’s predicted more than 90% of businesses will be using multiple cloud services and platforms, with Australia’s cloud services market alone expected to reach $2.8 billion by 2022.
At Bravura, around 70% of our financial services clients are utilising some level of cloud services – from hosting development/test environments, to full production outsourcing with a managed services partner. But for many businesses, concerns over security, resilience and costs still remain.
5 Steps to Success in the Cloud
To successfully implement cloud services, it pays to take a strategic approach. We identify the top five ways to help you get started on the journey towards finding the right cloud solution for your needs.
Start by considering whether to use a public or private cloud solution. With public cloud, you share the hosting infrastructure with others – which can be a concern for some businesses. However, private cloud may not have the benefit of a global reach and multiple data centres in each region, which builds resilience into the system.
Also consider the platforms that will underpin your key applications. While Amazon Web Services is recognised as the public cloud leader, Azure is a natural choice for a platform based on Microsoft products such as SQL Server. And Google is well known for its capabilities in Big Data and Machine Learning.
Many businesses using cloud services are concerned about losing important data through theft or accidental deletion. Network analytic services available as Software as a Service (SaaS) can help mitigate the former for both in-cloud and on-premise data, while regular and incremental back-ups will mitigate the latter. When it comes to building resilience into the solution, this is where public cloud has the edge. If a server or even a whole data centre goes offline, you can very quickly launch a replacement server in another data centre – losing very little time and providing ultimate resilience.
3. Cost management
Public cloud solutions are often considered high cost, especially if servers are simply migrated without considering the benefits that cloud brings such as auto-scaling and elasticity. For example, with an in-house solution, you must procure hardware to suit the environment’s peak needs. With a public cloud solution you can design your infrastructure to scale out as needed to meet peak demands, and scale back afterwards to significantly reduce spend. Managing cost can be achieved with public cloud services out of the box or by using a SaaS service that helps visualise and makes recommendations to help improve spend.
Are in-house servers more secure than the cloud? Unless you have trained experts working day and night as cloud vendors do, possibly not. Managed cloud services provide another set of eyes over the system, ensuring they’re being patched and upgraded, and that firewalls are being monitored.
Whether you’re hosting in the cloud or on your own premises, it’s wise to implement the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s eight essential mitigation strategies, to bolster your protection against the increasing threat of ransomware, data breaches and phishing.
Working towards a recognised certification is an excellent strategy to ensure security best-practice in your organisation. Frameworks such as ISO 27001 or the Australian Government’s Information Security Registered Assessors Program (iRAP) can help you embed a security-focussed mindset in your staff behaviours and across your business operations.
 IDC, “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Cloud 2018 Predictions”, December 2018
 Gartner, “Market Share Analysis: IaaS and IUS, Worldwide, 2017”, August 2018