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April - 2015 - issue > CXO INSIGHT
Viewpoints from the Cloud
Sumeet Sabharwal, General Manager, Navisite
Thursday, April 2, 2015
The cloud movement is in full force.Adoption levels are rising, with a focus on helping IT leaders manage changes in the workforce. Many IT professionals are battling a growing and remote workforce that demands a scalable, efficient and secure network. Cloud infrastructure provides the flexibility needed to answer the demands and challenges that are met with today's workforce.

Cloud as an IT and business solution
The growth of cloud adoption in the enterprise setting is trending upward and will continue to follow this path into the future as leaders continue to realize the benefits in delivering business outcomes. In fact, a recent cloud adoption survey commissioned by NaviSite found that 65 percent of U.S. respondents identified Infrastructure-as-a-Service private cloud as one of their top priorities in the coming year. This makes sense, given that cost savings and streamlined operations are two key considerations in migrating business to the cloud. Specifically, this migration can provide businesses with an optimal level of control over their IT environments, while making them more costefficient and manageable.The need for on premise servers is gone, in-house IT becomes streamlined and maintenance and downtime is nearly eliminated, leading to increased productivity, higher revenue and greater business opportunities.

Managing the mobile enterprise
The cloud is seen by many enterprises as a tool to help manage their growing mobile workforce, helping to ensure data security while maximizing employee productivity. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is quickly being adopted by business to help manage the consumerization of IT and the proliferation of personal devices being used for business purposes.

BYOD programs, coupled with Desktop as a Service solutions (DaaS), provide greater visibility and control over the desktop environment since the company data is hosted in the cloud; if an employee loses or has their mobile device stolen, the data isn't compromised because it never actually lived on the device. This makes implementing a BYOD policy more flexible with fewer restrictions on the type of data, applications and resources that workers can access from their personal devices. As a result, employees are more willing to get on board with their company's BYOD policy, while DaaS provides security and peace of mind without comprising worker productivity.

Going hand-in-hand with a rise in the mobile workforce, business applications are the catalysts of today's operations. They provide business oriented, need based services that incorporate with every day processes. The cloud is one of the driving factors allowing these applications to become scalable, interactive and functional across all business networks and devices.

Trending Security Concerns
The evolution of the cloud has often been met with skepticism around security infrastructure in place to protect sensitive information and data. In light of recent cyber-attacks and data breaches, this concern is well warranted. From the aforementioned NaviSite survey, 100 percent of IT business leaders cited security as causing some level of concern when considering migrating to the cloud.
Those in the cloud technology space are looking to change the perceptions of this notion. Companies in the infrastructure practice prize security as a top priority of innovation and improvement. The maturation of the available service provider offerings, combined with evolving best practices, demonstrates adoption is taking place despite the concerns.

Many different industries will benefit from rethinking the way they approach security. Looking at this issue as a comprehensive model, what are the business needs driving security measures and practices? What solutions, be it Desktop-as-a-Service, end-to-end encryption or another system can be implemented to help protect the infrastructure against future attacks? The cloud offers a proactive approach to security concerns to stay ahead of the game when it comes to safekeeping sensitive information.

A resilient future
Now that cloud has become an established and sought after solution for businesses, it is the industry's mission to innovate and grow the unique enterprise offerings currently available. For example, business continuity is a top priority for most enterprises, and understandably so. To meet the needs of enterprises and reduce unwanted downtime for customers, cloud computing options are providing more resilient disaster recovery options than ever before.

Disaster-recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS)is one of the newest and mostessential parts of cloud offerings. Having a plan in place for an unforeseen business disruption such as a power outage, technical issue, fire, hurricane or other disaster can drastically reduce or even eliminate system down time. Cloud-hosted virtual desktops provide a cost-effective disaster recovery solution that can be implemented easily and quickly. Building in a plan for business resiliency at all levels ensures data and applications are safe and will continue running,even if the IT environment becomes compromised.

The demand for the cloud will continue grow as it becomes a strategic component in delivering more effective and efficient IT services. Businesses are in need of a secure, resilient and agile IT infrastructure to take advantage of new market opportunities. The cloud provides them with the tools necessary to do so.

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