Many teams are experiencing a tremendous ROI following migration to the cloud, or an integration of their digital solutions – in fact, a survey of UK business leaders found that 45 per cent of respondents noticed an increase in productivity following a migration to smart technologies.Whilst businesses have built digital workplaces, at the same time we have seen a number of high-profile companies suffering very public data hacks. From 2014’s iCloud “Snappening” to the data leaks suffered by a number of high profile businesses, consumer and enterprise distrust for the cloud is understandably high. However, high-profile breaches need not act as a deterrent in your decision on cloud-migration, but instead serve as a guide on what to avoid and how to better deploy digital solutions. Cloud-based operations are essential for the business of the future, and should stop being painted as dangerous territory for a company and its data. Indeed, with correct security precautions in place, businesses can thrive through digital innovation. In many cases, cloud is safer than legacy on premise systems, and we will continue to see this move. Many IT managers are already reaping the benefits of cloud-based solutions, and companies of all sizes are reducing costs and improving efficiencies as a result. However, security risks have historically induced a level of hesitation for new entrants to the cloud experience. It is clear that the pressure to drive a company’s journey to become a true digital business, which innovates efficiently, often leaves senior IT decision makers feeling as if they would benefit from some objective support and specific expertise. No cloud vendor, partner nor IT department can provide 100 per cent absolute security, nor will they claim to do so, which is why successful cloud computing lies in developing a tailored solution to suit your needs.
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Developing a thriving digital workplace also means rationally understanding the level of security needed – you wouldn’t protect a government document in the same way as your photos on your phone, so why shouldn’t you tier your data security and cloud access in a similar way?In order to mitigate risks, it is essential that an organisation works with a partner they trust to initiate a cloud migration plan, and take them through their journey. Through a partnership, businesses can optimise a specific security protocol which includes data encryption, device management, tiered access by employees, as well as staff education and training to aid their understanding in managing risks in the digital world. Once you are reassured that your cloud security is optimised, you can then be confident in the benefits that follow. A digital workplace can in turn encourage collaborative and flexi working. A recent survey of global C-level executives by Avanade found that 67 per cent of respondents saw increased productivity following a long-term investment in digital workplace technologies, and 53 per cent acknowledged an increase in employee engagement. Digital innovation as a concept is simple in theory – it empowers employees, regardless of their location, to drive business success through the use of digital tools and intelligent context. Putting this into practice can appear daunting for decision makers – employees may initially prefer legacy systems, training can be time-consuming, and implementation and upkeep might seem challenging. Until business leaders view digital transformation as a long term investment that improves productivity, efficiency and revenue; upfront costs and security “risks” will always be a barrier. By sidestepping this resistance to digital you’ll better prepare your business to embrace the benefits a transformation gives, so what are you waiting for?
With cyber security and the cloud increasing in demand and importance, one startup launched a service to protect victims of online revenge attacks.Julian Tomison is GM of Avanade UK Image: Shutterstock
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