7 Tips for Financial Execs Transitioning to the Cloud

My Post - 2019-03-11T140022.302.jpg

If you are actively searching for best practices and tips to move to the cloud, here are 7 tips.

A tectonic shift — or, we could rename it a techtonic shift — is spreading rapidly across the globe as organizations move to the cloud. The transformation comes from not only the need to use software based in the cloud, but also from companies rethinking their corporate strategies and positioning in terms of their internal data, content, systems, privacy, security and even culture. Financial executives often find themselves in these type of digital transformation projects for their financial expertise as well as for their overarching business analysis, objectivity, compliance knowledge and high-level view of an organization. Fueled by market research data, Gartner estimates that more than $1.3 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud by 2022. Much of this spend will lead to company goals of improved efficiency, cash flow and overall cost savings.

Despite statistics, scores of small, medium and enterprise companies are not yet on the cutting edge of digital transformation and haven’t yet made the move to the cloud. If you fall into this bucket of companies you’re not alone, yet. If you are actively searching for best practices and tips to move to the cloud, please read on.

1. Select Executive Sponsorship

Your first order of business is to nominate your project champion or executive sponsor to lead the cloud transition project. This person must have the power to make decisions and be technically savvy enough to talk and understand “cloud speak.” They must also have the ear and respect of the entire executive team to keep all constituents informed throughout the organization’s shift to the cloud. Your executive sponsor will be able to consider different needs for business units, global ramifications and long-term goals. Similarly, this person will understand the existing infrastructure and the current technology stack, including ERP, CRM, RPA, line of business systems and repositories. Ultimately, this person will sign off on the type of cloud platform and any related vendors with financial implications and business objectives at the forefront. – Read more

With microservices, SaaS startups are giving large vendors a run for their money

My Post - 2019-03-11T130959.188.jpg

When Alibaba Cloud wanted to beef up its backend platforms, the company did not reach out to large enterprise technology giants.

Instead, it engaged the services of To The New, an up-and-coming SaaS-based integrated solutions provider based in Mumbai.

Similarly, when a large American retail giant needed to build an end-to-end order management system with multiple channels, it could have opted for a singular solution from the leading system management providers. Instead, the company zeroed in on an in-built all-in-one solution from Cybage, an outsourced product development company which is headquartered in Pune.

The dawn of the digital transformation era at enterprises has signalled the arrival of new-age technology firms which are not focussed on a singular specialisation, but instead have mastered the art of integrating several small solutions into a single customisable entity using the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.

A Gartner research report has estimated that SaaS will be the largest revenue generator for the cloud, with an estimated growth of 17.8% to reach $85.1 billion this year.

These digital transformation providers promise dynamic and innovative solutions at a lower time-to-market as compared to the IBMs and the Accentures of the industry.

Among their prominent skill-sets is working on integrated offerings in a bid to make clients understand that they do not have to source ten different singular solutions to hit the target return on investment (ROI). – Read more

Cloud Security Should Reduce Friction for Users

My Post (98).jpg

Organizations need to protect both SaaS and IaaS environments, a McAfee expert says.

What is Cloud computing and why does it matter to business?

My Post (97).jpg

Cloud computing refers to the provision of IT infrastructure, operating software, middleware and applications hosted within a datacentre and accessed by the end user via the Internet.

So what is Cloud computing in business and what are the main trends?

Cloud computing is typically sold using three service models:

  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): a model for renting out IT hardware, such as servers, data centre space or networking components, to IT systems administrators or network architects, saving them the cost of buying and building their own in-house data centre.
  • Platform as a service (PaaS): a model for providing IT platforms to allow app developers to create, run and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app.
  • Software as a service (SaaS): a model for licensing and delivering centrally hosted software via the Internet on a subscription basis to corporations and consumers.

Why does Cloud computing matter to business?

Cloud computing makes it easier, cheaper and faster to run state-of-the-art IT architectures in any type of company, large or small. The key benefits are:

  • Cost: Significant cost savings are likely across a company’s IT budget.
  • Cash flow: The billing is typically metered on usage, so IT expenditure shifts from one-off, upfront capital expenditure to monthly operating expenses, offering a cash flow advantage.
  • Flexibility: Businesses can rent IT equipment and applications as needed, rather than buying hardware and software assets outright.
  • Scalability: Computing capabilities like storage, processing power or network bandwidth can be scaled-up almost instantly and scaled-down again depending on demand and users are unlikely to ever be short of capacity.
  • Ubiquitous access: IT resources can be accessed by any authorised users on any authorised devices from any authorised location using an Internet connection.

Read more

How To Migrate To The Cloud With Ease In 2019

My Post (96).jpg

Gartner recently predicted that by 2025, “80% of enterprises will migrate entirely away from on-premises data centers with the current trend of moving workloads to colocation, hosting and the cloud leading them to shut down their traditional data center.”

This creates a workload placement decision process that enterprises must solve in 2019.

For example, in 2018, a top Wall Street bank and current Panzura customer with over $2 trillion under management needed to modernize its legacy IT infrastructure to take advantage of cloud architectures.

Their complex infrastructure consisted of over 3,000 applications run on numerous different systems, and each had unique management requirements and life cycles. The wave of unstructured and file-based data made it unscalable and too costly to store and manage on legacy filers. Thus, the bank began a new initiative to streamline and deploy a cloud infrastructure to do everything from increase availability and control costs to improve management and integrate cloud-based technology.

Given the nature of their business, they needed to use a private cloud but also wanted to have the option to leverage the public cloud in the future. So, they implemented a highly scalable and resilient cloud storage infrastructure. – Read more

Moving to the cloud? Here are some factors to consider

My Post (92).jpg

BUSINESSES are moving to the cloud, and the trend is not likely to slow down anytime soon.

According to IDC, public cloud infrastructure quarterly revenue has more than doubled in the past three years to US$9.0 billion in 1Q18, growing 55.8 percent year over year.

Private cloud revenue reached US$3.9 billion for an annual increase of 26.5 percent.

The combined public and private cloud revenues now represent 46.1 percent of the total worldwide IT infrastructure spending, up from 41.8 percent a year ago.

Given how this infrastructure is as crucial to companies to deliver the services, as it was in the data center, ability to explore the different cloud networks to identify various choke points and issues with routing in advance will immensely help in making informed network investment decisions and subsequently, determining its configurations.

To ensure a successful migration to the cloud as well as sustained efficient operations, these are the several things that organizations need to consider before deploying;

#1 | Network’s baseline performance

In order to get a baseline measurement of network performance, organizations need to pick a different set of data points than they previously used.

Upon moving to IaaS, SaaS, or virtually any cloud services, companies will be at the mercy of cloud vendors and other third-party service providers on which applications and services traffic will be transmitted. – Read more

You Have a Multi-Cloud Environment — Now What?

My Post (91).jpg

Best practices for global enterprises moving to multi-cloud environments
Whether they set out to use multiple clouds or not, large enterprises today end up with several cloud suppliers. In fact, it’s probably hard to find a company that isn’t using some mix of Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, IBM Cloud, Salesforce.com, Oracle, Google G suite, ServiceNow or Box. The list goes on and on. This is more pronounced with enterprises that have a global site footprint.
The cloud, after all, gets you out of the business of hosting applications and constantly worrying about upgrading hardware and software. It also enables you to sidestep the capital commitments otherwise required.
However, the more clouds your enterprise uses, the more complex connectivity becomes. Security concerns skyrocket as it becomes hard to figure out who is accessing what, from where, and how. In addition, the network becomes central to application performance across the organization.
Forces at Work
Despite the network challenges that multi-cloud creates, there is no turning back. Multi-cloud is here to stay and will become even more complex with time, as:
  • Companies turn to more SaaS offerings that enable them to embrace best-of-breed solutions rather than multi-purpose on-premises solution bundles that have to meet various requirements of legacy environments
  • Technologies, such as serverless computing and other advances, that are only possible with cloud native applications attract more enterprise workloads
  • Adoption of Internet of Things technologies and strategies require organizations to collect and analyze data closer to scattered sensors at the edge of the network, probably in specialized cloud services
  • Companies try to mesh cloud tools with on-premises systems in hybrid configurations because stringent security or compliance requirements — or the tightly integrated nature of those legacy systems — prevents going all in with cloud

Read More

Measuring Product Usage and Adoption for SaaS and Cloud – The Complete 2019 Guide

My Post (84).jpg

Measuring product adoption by users is critical for SaaS and Cloud companies as this is the most telling indicator of the value customers are getting from products and services.

And when it comes to preventing churn and driving growth, it is necessary for companies to know which customers and users are using their products, how they are using them and to what extent.

In order to create this visibility, cloud and SaaS product teams need to instrument their applications (web, mobile, saas) to report on product usage. By “instrumenting a product,” I refer to the technical process of creating an event log of user activities, so this log can be analyzed to answer the usage questions mentioned above.

The technical process of instrumenting a web or mobile application is relatively straight forward. It involves adding a simple instrumentation code into the application that logs the user activity at various integration points. Totango provides such instrumentation technology out of the box for both web and mobile applications.

Once the product usage events are being reported, preferably in real-time, a usage analytics system is reading the instrumentation log and provides KPIs of the various dimensions of product usage and adoption. These KPIs can be used to predict and prevent churn, identify growth opportunities, and provide information to product managers and designers to improve product adoption and value. – Read more

6 questions to ask before choosing a SaaS or hybrid cloud VoIP system

My Post (83).jpg

Before choosing a SaaS or hybrid cloud VoIP vendor, it’s important for organizations to create a list of must-have features that can be used to narrow down their selection criteria.

Cloud-first is the idea that if an app, service or piece of digital information can live in the public cloud, it should live there.

Business leaders love the cloud because it has low upfront costs, services can scale up or down as needed, and it requires fewer dedicated resources to set up and maintain. Organizations with a cloud-first mentality may benefit from implementing a full SaaS or hybrid cloud voice over IP, or VoIP, system.

But because numerous SaaS or hybrid VoIP platforms are available, it’s important for organizations to know what questions they should ask. The answers to the following questions can help them develop a list of must-have features they can use to narrow their search.

1. Can any of the current VoIP platform components be reused?

If a company is planning to migrate off a legacy, on-premises VoIP platform, it’s important to review the existing system to see if any components can be reused for the new VoIP system. For SaaS and hybrid deployments, the only parts of a legacy telephony platform that could possibly be reused are unified communications (UC) endpoints, including desk phones, conference phones and video conferencing equipment.

Repurposing fully compatible endpoints on a SaaS platform can save companies a considerable amount of money. Some vendors even offer a list of compatible and incompatible devices for their SaaS platforms. – Read more

3 Tips to Mitigate Security Risk During an ERP Cloud Migration

My Post (75).jpg

Your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, whether it’s SAP or the Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS), is vital to your organization’s processes.

It can support all business functions, including finance, manufacturing, procurement, ordering, services, human resources and more. Keeping your ERP system functional and performing efficiently and at a high level is an absolute must. To optimize performance, making changes is necessary. One of the biggest challenges with making changes to the ERP system is that these changes can create security and compliance risks or expose new exploit opportunities on existing vulnerabilities.

Some common change scenarios to your ERP system include applying security patches, updating servers, upgrading software versions and migrating servers and applications to the cloud. While each of these changes can introduce varying degrees of risk, I am going to focus this blog on a major change agent that is trending today, ERP cloud migrations.

ERP-to-Cloud migration projects already exist at many organizations as either ‘in discussion’, ‘in planning’, ‘in progress’, or already ‘a reality.’  Are you moving your servers that support your ERP system to a cloud service? Or, are you moving your entire ERP system to the cloud where it will be also be managed by SAP, Oracle, or another managed service provider? Either way, I will offer up a few tips to manage and mitigate the risks from start to finish to help ensure a successful migration. Of course, I’ll also put a plug in for how the Onapsis Security Platform (OSP) can help as well.

Tip #1: Start Your Migration with Proper Configurations and Controls
Before starting your ERP migration, you will want to make sure your systems are configured correctly and you have the proper controls in place. Establish your configuration and controls baseline. Then, assess your systems against that baseline. Here’s where OSP can help you automate this process, so you know exactly what to fix and see your progress as you address identified issues.

Tip #2: Complete Outstanding Vulnerability Remediation Cloud Migration Prerequisite 
It is essential to reduce the risk exposure of your ERP’s vulnerability footprint before moving to the cloud. For example, if you need to upgrade your SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) to ECC EHP8, you will then want to finish that upgrade effort with any associated remediations ahead of the cloud migration initiative. – Read more