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Security and Silos: Optimizing Your Cloud for 2021

By Gregg Ostrowski, Regional CTO, AppDynamics, part of Cisco

With a new year comes the opportunity to set the tone for the next 12 months. In late 2020, I shared my top predictions for 2021, including a greater focus on observability, user experience and technologists. In early 2021, we're seeing many of these predictions begin to take shape - and mostly within the context of cloud technology.

According to the Flexera 2021 State of Tech Spending Report, cloud spend now makes up 30% of total IT spend, surpassing on-premises software. The report also found that the IT industry continues to underestimate wasted IT spend at 12% compared to the 30% wasted many analysts and industry experts estimate.

To mitigate this waste and save time, energy and trust, cloud technologies need to be implemented smoothly. This means infrastructure must be optimized to withstand the pressures of today's world, which continues to be impacted by the pandemic, remote work and security concerns. The desire to have teams innovate instead of manage infrastructure has also amplified the need to migrate to the cloud.

In order to achieve this, IT leaders should implement two key strategies in optimizing their cloud infrastructure: bolster security and break down silos.

Step Up Security With User Experience in Mind

Cloud and application security are more closely intertwined than ever before. We all saw high-profile security breaches happen late last year, and how crucial security is not only for keeping information safe, but also maintaining customer and stakeholder trust. The most secure and successful applications will need to adopt cloud technology to stay innovative and keep up with the increasing demands of their end-users.

To meet these demands, modern applications need to have security built into their core, especially now that they facilitate the majority of experiences and transactions. When considering application security, decision makers should ensure it meets two key criteria: security should be agnostic to where an application runs, as it runs everywhere, and it should be continuous as well as automated to keep up with the dynamic nature of applications, which will only get more complex as technology evolves.

Break Down Silos Before They Get in the Way

Like a well-oiled machine, your cloud infrastructure will function best when all the appropriate technologies - and people - are communicating effectively. This is especially critical with cloud technologies, because if an organization improperly migrates larger amounts of data and processes to the cloud as part of a rushed digital transformation, it can result in negative consequences for the business overall, such as data fragmentation and security vulnerabilities.

The effects of siloed communication ultimately land on the end user, also known as important stakeholders. By investing time and resources into breaking down silos within technologies, businesses can ensure the end user rarely - if ever - feels the effects of anomalies on the backend. At AppDynamics, for example, one way we're addressing this is by providing greater integration with Cisco Intersight, offering a bridge between infrastructure and application teams to holistically address issues and manage application health.

Embrace a Team Mentality

Solutions to problematic silos are not limited to just one product offering or brand, however. They require a shift in the way IT leaders think about cloud technology as well as a greater emphasis on the concept of teamwork. Reluctance to change internal processes and continuing a siloed approach can be detrimental to the overall business as applications are now the primary interaction with your customers.

When something goes awry, your organization should be equipped with the technology and a plan to correct it rather than trying to pin the blame on a particular team or product.

It's no surprise or coincidence that analyst firm Gartner recently predicted that a majority of new CIO hiring processes will rank determination and sensitivity as "critical personal characteristics." When choosing the leaders that will drive the future strategies of organizations, they will choose people who focus on bringing teams together, ultimately creating a better experience for everyone, from technologists to end users and everyone in between.

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About the Author

Gregg Ostrowski 

Gregg Ostrowski is a Regional CTO at AppDynamics. He engages with customer senior leadership to help prioritize their strategy for digital transformation. Prior to AppDynamics, Gregg held senior leadership positions at Samsung and Research in Motion.

Published Wednesday, January 20, 2021 7:42 AM by David Marshall
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