Many organisations have made the mistake of implementing technology solutions without thinking about how they fit into the overall infrastructure and how that implementation will look in the future. For example, a quick deployment of a particular solution may result in an isolated and non-standard build.
According to Mitesh Chauhan, director of cloud adoption specialist LA NET, this approach can cause difficulties later on. “This is especially true when it comes to integration and overall management and administration,” he says. “It also creates exceptions to the agreed standards which can lead to increased management costs and greater security risks due to their hasty implementation and corner cutting.”
Chauhan believes that using out-of-the-box Microsoft Azure services, policies, tight access controls and automation are key methods that businesses can leverage to be compliant from the top down. “Implementing these strategies ensures the compliance of particular resources,” he says. “For example, we can be confident that no users are creating public internet access to a virtual machine, storage account or database servers because we have applied controls to prevent it.”
While compliance is one challenge facing businesses on their journey towards digital transformation, managing complexity is another.
“There are a few ways for businesses to address this,” says Chauhan. “Keep things consistent and apply strict access controls. Employ automation wherever you can. Use standard native tools where possible. These will comply with about 90 per cent of business requirements. For the other 10 per cent, check if you really need this feature, and if you do, pick one and standardise on this. Do not heavily customise your environments as this can also make it difficult to manage.”
Addressing compliance and complexity challenges will help businesses as they pursue effective digital transformation and the associated benefits. For Chauhan, the cloud is the pinnacle of digital transformation and the enabler behind truly modern business.
“When a cloud platform is set up correctly at the infrastructure level, it all just works,” he says. “The IT team doesn’t have to continually firefight operational issues. Instead, it can use the cloud to highlight areas of improvement. This in turn leads to a better customer experience, lower IT maintenance costs and the ability for the customer to innovate on the platform. That is the whole point, beauty and benefit of cloud computing.”
This article was originally published in the Autumn 2022 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.