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Digital transformation as a driver of cloud migration

(Image credit: Image Credit: TZIDO SUN / Shutterstock)

For enterprises across all verticals, the digital revolution has had an immense impact. The increased number of connected devices and greater reliance on AI is pushing organisations to consider more robust cybersecurity solutions and data protection methods, with 83 per cent of enterprise workloads expected to be cloud-based this year. In a study conducted by LogicMonitor, digitally transforming enterprises was the leading factor in driving greater public cloud engagement or adoption, followed by the pursuit of IT agility. With this transformation taking place, alternative IT structures will be of utmost importance as organisations seek to digitise their workloads while maintaining a high level of security.

Over the last few years, the cloud has prevailed as an enticing alternative in the midst of the digital transformation. It provides several benefits that traditional networks have difficulty competing with, ranging from minimal or no on-prem server maintenance to faster deployment times and less infrastructure complexity. This ongoing migration to the cloud is largely driven by digitally transforming enterprises, with 70 per cent of companies aiming to digitally transform their organisation if they haven’t already.

This transformation isn’t always simple to execute, however. In a recent study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, a third of respondents shared that “current IT systems make it difficult or time-consuming for employees to access core business data and apps without help.” The ever-multiplying plethora of digital platforms being used by businesses in order to manage workflows or increase connectivity across departments can at times be self-defeating, especially if IT infrastructure is outdated and reliant upon legacy systems. Piecing together homegrown solutions to securely transfer internal files across different platforms creates an incredible strain on any quickly transforming digital enterprise. As a result of this, IT professionals are forced to author internal scripts that are generally tailored for legacy domain controllers that no longer support systems in current use, making integration nearly impossible and workflows difficult to manage.

Remaining compliant

Relying on a single cloud-based platform resolves a wide variety of digital transformation issues, with particular regard to network integration. By creating a framework for varying SaaS platforms and other digital services, the cloud acts as an operational management structure that is no longer fragmented, compartmentalised, or dependent on old systems that struggle to keep up.

Operational agility is also a top driver behind cloud migration due to its extremely flexible and scalable nature. If more or less storage space is needed, maintaining or moving on-prem servers is no longer an issue. Additionally, security becomes less of a hassle -- if a computer or other device is stolen or lost, the sensitive data stored on that device is no longer exclusive to it. Instead, the data can easily be accessed remotely in order to dispose of it securely.

As digital transformation grows in complexity, remaining compliant will only become more challenging. Requirements for how long data should be stored and the right to be forgotten are both standards that are strongly enforced by legislation such as GDPR, CCPA and other data privacy laws looming on the horizon. Due to the cloud’s all-encompassing network integration structure, data can be clearly and easily detected for compliant storage, rather than disparately located across aging networks.

As part of migrating to the cloud, a key component of successful digital transformation is securely managing files that are shared within an organisation -- without this, cloud migration is entirely compromised. A 2018 study conducted by the Varonis Data Lab examined more than 6 billion files containing sensitive information, finding that one in five were accessible to anyone. Among the companies surveyed, 40 per cent had more than 1,000 files that were openly accessible to the public.

Hopping on the digital transformation wagon

Ultimately, SaaS users working across a wide array of platforms must be equipped with software that allows them to securely communicate and transfer information without relying on consumer-grade online programs. When managed file transfer (MFT) is not monitored properly, there is no effective vehicle for tracking whether a file was successfully shared across a network. Without this capability, more pressure is placed on the few IT professionals who are familiar enough with the inner workings of an outdated system. Not only does this work-around approach place a burden on an organisation, it creates a backdoor for malicious actors to covertly infect a network, with no MFT monitoring tool to detect them. The marvels of the cloud are only as effective as the security measures in place to protect them, with file transfers being a potential vulnerability if not using enhanced software.

As enterprises hurriedly hop on the digital transformation wagon, some will be better equipped for the cyber-frontier than others. Businesses will continue to experience growth, and they’ll require better software integration and security measures that are simple to use and scalable to their individual needs. A crucial factor of whether an institution will be well-prepared for the digital transformation is its IT bandwidth and overall reliance on legacy systems or cloud-based technologies, determining its ability to remain relevant in an ever cyber-centric world.

Roberto Garcia, VP of Product Strategy & Engineering, Globalscape (opens in new tab)

Roberto Garcia has more than 20 years of experience in defining, architecting, managing, and implementing a broad range of information systems and applications, focusing on computer security and IT compliance. As Globalscape’s VP of Product Strategy and Engineering, Garcia is responsible for strategic and tactical product planning and the entire product life cycle for Globalscape products.