The World of Cloud Computing

Cloud Definition

Today, companies need to launch new business applications in the fastest way possible. People use the internet to collect information and buy online. These two main trends underpin the digital transformation of a company. Digital transformation means the implementation of an agile way from application development to delivery and setting up of a cloud computing system.

Cloud computing is a burning topic during this modern digital era. Many enterprises are now going through digital transformation – migrating to the cloud. This provides B2B networks with scalability in their digital transformation, real time collaboration, cloud-based business insights, end-to end visibility and faster innovation capabilities. The more quickly companies realize the importance of digital transformation; the better it would be for their market integration and growth.

Cloud computing is highly attractive as a component of the digitalization strategy of both government agencies and businesses, because “the cloud” allows you to pay only for the services you use. It is now certain that digital initiatives will lead to increased adoption of agile methodologies to accelerate the digital transformation and make it easier. DevOps is an ideal way to build agility and speed. Such an agile framework enables the cultural shift in the organization. It focuses on having swift iterations based on customer feedback. This way companies can minimize the risks and make sure, they have the desired impact towards the end of the journey.

DevOps lets you automate everything you can. Without automation, there would be more unknowns for the developers, making each deployment a huge risk. Moreover, automated software deployment largely reduce the time to market. Thus, the number of overall application releases increase, indicating success for the organization.

 

What are the benefits of cloud computing?

The saying goes “every cloud has a silver lining”. In the case of cloud computing, there are several silver linings as it brings along a plethora of significant advantages.

A digital transformation enabler

Cloud computing is the pillar of digital transformation and innovation. The cloud offers flexible IT resources that enable business model transformation, rapid time to market and the ability to test resources efficiently.

Increased competitiveness

Cloud computing can help you bring your innovative solutions to the market faster and thus lets you enjoy a competitive edge in the market.

Agile deployment

The cloud system could be functional within a few steps. Implementing it is not a very daunting task, as some might think.

High automation

Cloud lets you automate many manual tasks (for example, in addition to a CI/CD pipeline) to help you better manage your cloud-based infrastructure. This would help save time and reduce administrative overhead. Concepts like Infrastructure as Code enable effective cloud management practices.

Scalability and flexibility

It allows immense flexibility as your business can scale out or scale down depending on your fluctuating needs during the peak season. You can choose between the three service levels – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) that deliver virtualized IT infrastructure, based on what is right for your organization. Then you can decide how you want to manage the service – private, public or hybrid, by selecting the cloud service model that suits you best.

Pay as you go

This means you will be charged only for the services and features that you use. Therefore, no resources will go wasted. All the three service levels- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) use this payment model.

Automatic updates

Your service provider handles all updates so that your system is always up to date with the latest technologies, while you focus on your core business.

Optimization of resources

You do not have to buy expensive IT systems or maintain servers anymore as you can use the remote resources of your cloud provider. This also reduces staff costs, all without having an effect on the business capabilities.

On demand availability

Your applications are accessible anytime, anywhere, 24/7, while maintaining a fast performance. Your critical applications do not have to face downtime.
While the cloud delivers numerous benefits, migrating to the cloud is not a simple task.

How do I secure cloud computing?

Cybersecurity has become an integral part of the digital transformation journey of an organization. When migrating to the cloud, IT security teams are still responsible to protect the corporate data and the customer information. Adding workloads to a public cloud increases the complexity of the security landscape. Security is a central topic in cloud computing and thus is cloud automation. Cloud security covers the security of all “computing layers” in public and private clouds. The security of cloud applications also includes the application layer, i.e. the typical model of information visibility including web application firewalls, log analysis, vulnerability management and other functions.

When we talk about security of cloud applications, we talk about the security of the application layer. Specifically, how securely cloud applications are programmed to prevent vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, weak authentication and session management, forgery of cross-site requests and many more. OWASP has published a good overview of current vulnerabilities of web applications such as APIs in its Top 10.

Hybrid cloud and multi cloud environments offer enormous advantages in terms of scalability and flexibility. Multi cloud helps in leveraging interesting functionalities of multiple cloud providers and speeding up time to market. Nevertheless, the challenges of these include consistent security across clouds, protecting apps from multiple threats, and managing multiple applications. To meet this security aspect of web applications in hybrid and multi cloud scenarios as well, more and more organizations and companies are turning to Web Application Firewalls.

Agnostic technologies allow organizations to limit vendor dependency and retain sovereignty to decide independently which services they use – and ultimately where data is processed, excluding access by third parties, regardless of foreign legal requirements. Organizations thus continue to ensure that they meet the high requirements for data security and digital sovereignty in Europe. They have to make the advantages of modern cloud services available to customers in compliance with the law.

You need to make sure that the company that stores your data is not under overseas laws. In case it is, you need to maintain additional level of security measures. It is important to be compliant with the GDPR regulations to ensure data privacy for every EU client. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) released “Schrems II”. This ruling stops unlawful processing of international data transfers and compels companies to comply with GDPR.

Therefore, once you have finalized your cloud strategy, you need to find a trustworthy partner with a clearly defined roadmap to help you navigate through and address the potential risks of the cloud – this is the only way to ensure a successful digital transformation.