How to Reach for the Cloud
By Ryan Hicke, Chief Information Officer, SEI
With the normalization of remote work and progression toward a hybrid workforce, companies must align their technology and business strategies, prioritizing cloud capabilities and security. In order to incorporate this new era’s cloud requirements, there are a few considerations to take into account: executive buy-in, resources and talent, and the role of a technology provider.
C-suite buy-in is critical to appropriately elevate the need for cloud-native technology within an organization. CIOs, CTOs and other technology leaders proposing a major transition should be prepared to have conversations that map cloud transformation directly to the business' strategic objectives. The onus is on these leaders to demonstrate the tangible value of a cloud strategy—not only in safeguarding online resources from leakage, theft or data loss, but also in protecting client data, preserving the organization’s reputation, and removing the potential mitigation costs from a security incident.
The development, implementation and maintenance of a strong and secure cloud-native technology strategy requires the right in-house resources and skills. Assessing the team’s aptitude and infrastructure to identify outstanding needs up front is key to enabling the effective rollout and ongoing management of a cloud strategy initiative. Does the current team have the skillsets needed for successful execution? Where should investments in talent recruitment, training and retention be made for successful implementation? It’s important to take clear-eyed stock of the company’s technology infrastructure. Prioritizing cloud-native design, as well as ensuring you have a clear process, people and program to optimize where capabilities should remain on prem or move to the public cloud, lead to increased productivity.
Many companies are leveraging an increasing number of cloud-based services, and it can be difficult to manage all of them in house. Cloud providers are increasingly proficient in advising organizations on how to best build and maintain their cloud technology infrastructures, freeing up internal resources to instead focus on strengthening client relationships and growing the business. Finding the right partner that can help deliver enhanced scalability and flexibility in a highly secure environment provides a solid foundation that can enable or accelerate business growth.
When assessing options for an outsourced technology provider, consider asking:
- What is your expectation of network and data protection in a cloud provider?
- How robust are a provider’s capabilities? Where can they complement or augment your internal and clients’ needs?
- What’s their approach to alignment and integration of your existing system with cloud capabilities?
- How will your client data and your entire network be protected—both on prem and in the cloud?
- Are the provider’s capabilities designed for complex, regulated and/or data-centric businesses?
To protect the privacy of an organization’s data, including its clients’ data, secure cloud and data center strategies are a must in today’s world. Those strategies also need the flexibility to quickly adjust and adapt to technology’s continued acceleration and the evolving regulatory landscape in order to support business growth for the long term.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.