If you’re thinking about a change in your hosting infrastructure provider, there’s a multitude of questions to be figured out. For most of them, the objective is pretty clear: Find the best way to reduce cost and resources needed, without impeding business functions. And for those questions, it’s usually a pretty straightforward process to determine the right answer. But what about the issues that don’t have perfectly defined processes or objective right answers? These are the open-ended questions that, while less easily described, are no less important to the wellbeing of a business.
In this blog, we’ll discuss two of these topics that aren’t quite as easy to come to a quick answer on – and to handle the subjectivity in a way that helps your organization come out on top in the long run.
Aligning Security with Business Objectives
For a long time, security was the top concern and the biggest reason that companies weren’t comfortable with a move to the Cloud. In fact, it still is, and a survey was done last year by RightScale lists security as the number one challenge that Cloud Computing faces. So the fact that security is an important consideration when moving infrastructure should come as no surprise – but how to navigate that challenge is a bit more complex, and the answer is unique to the organization.
Since security concerns vary from company to company, it isn’t possible to simply compile a list of top security concerns that everyone should address. The path to getting around this is aligning security with business objectives, which means taking into consideration what the top threats are, with respect to the needs of your particular industry. To get a better idea of what the top priority threats are for your organization, it’s a good idea to start with an overall security assessment that can help to identify recommendations for building out a robust security protocol. This typically will include things like Vulnerability Scans and patch management, as well as determining the different severity levels for various security threats.
This custom approach is key to creating a security plan for your infrastructure that will last over time. It’s prudent to be cautious of prebuilt severity matrices (often required by public Clouds) that don’t take into consideration the unique concerns of each individual business. This allows Cloud providers to cut costs by keeping uniform protocols across all customers, but it isn’t always the right fit for those with differing security concerns.
Regulatory and Legal Compliance
Although a relatively more recent challenge than security, compliance with legal requirements and regulatory standards is no less important. As governments and regulatory bodies begin to increasingly implement, IT leaders are still understanding what to make of new compliance requirements (such as GDPR). One thing is certain, though – whether new regulations are a hindrance to business or a step in the right direction, they directly impact how organizations are handling their data, processes, and other compliance-related actions.
For some industries, compliance is nothing new. Pharmaceutical companies, for example, have been working to adhere to FDA and GxP regulations for years. Regardless of how recent regulations have been instituted, changes in infrastructure technology have and will continue to make this a top concern that many organizations may not be accustomed to addressing. For more information on what kind of challenges the pharmaceutical industry faces with Cloud Computing, take a look at this recent case study explaining how a biopharmaceutical clinical trials company navigated its compliance issues
Business leaders should consult internal legal and regulatory departments to better understand what the current restrictions are, as well as what future ones are likely to be. Consider the company-wide effects that shifting infrastructure will have – from new back-end operational processes to training for employees who need to access sensitive data on a regular basis. Infrastructure services have long-standing effects that echo throughout your business for years, and it’s well worth it to do the research and legwork before locking into a contract.
If your organization is considering an infrastructure shift or is required to make a change soon, there are hosting options that can be used in the short term – giving you time to collect the necessary information and make an informed decision that bodes well for years to come.