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Three Ways to Establish a Digital Transformation Cloud Strategy

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As COVID-19 continues to keep many offices closed, some organizations have digitally transformed their workforces to improve the flow of business, a change that for many will be permanent. By the time the pandemic is over, a number of organizations will have embraced a hybrid in-person/virtual workforce, while also having shifted to multiple cloud and hybrid cloud services.

Many organizations in the early steps of adoption may find themselves at a crossroads between different cloud providers whose offerings range from software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and platform-as-a-service (PaaS). With a number of third parties hosting their data, organizations will need to consider the security risks and take steps to mitigate them. One way to get ahead of the problem is to create a single cloud strategy that will ensure streamlined governance over cloud platforms.

“A best practice is to ensure that for all requested cloud services, [the services] are subjected to proper architecture and security reviews on any IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS vendor platforms, before being approved for use in the enterprise,” Ryan Smith, Chief Information Officer at healthcare provider Intermountain Healthcare, told CIO. “Guidance and guardrails must be established before any public cloud vendor tools can be provided to the organization, including ongoing monitoring of all usage.”

How to Create a Digital Transformation Cloud Strategy

Before you take your organization down the digital transformation path, you’ll want to make sure you have a strong strategy in place that will allow for easier adaption to a multi-cloud model. Here are three things organizations should consider, according to The Enterprise Project:  

Revise your strategy:
Revamp your strategy to take into account the integration of enhanced security systems, data center providers, voice technology updates, and other necessary changes. You should also document everything as you proceed, and be sure to involve your senior leadership.

Prioritize security:
Make network security your top priority by embedding it into the digital transformation process and establishing protocols that ensure all steps are taken. Consider public versus private cloud solutions (each of which carries its own data risks); establish a robust Mobile Device Management (MDM) or Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) platform; and train your staff on how to identify common scams such as phishing, which is the number-one way hackers break into data centers. A good strategy is to implement a multi-layered security strategy with routine testing, assessments, and training. 

Define what “cloud” means to your organization:
Before you execute your digital transformation, decide exactly what utilizing the cloud means to your organization, as well as what your cloud strategy will entail. Consider questions such as: 

  • How should the cloud be defined in a work-from-home environment?
  • What do we need cloud computing to accomplish?

By asking questions like these, you will be able to avoid unnecessary cloud projects that could waste your organization’s time and money.  

Digital transformation will come with many risks and rewards. However, organizations that adopt an appropriate cloud strategy will be able to quickly identify and solve problems in advance, and enjoy a much easier transition in the process.

Prepare Your Organization for Digital Transformation

Get your organization ready for Digital Transformation. The IEEE five-course program, Digital Transformation: Moving Toward a Digital Society, is aimed to foster a discussion around how digital transformation can transform various industries and provide the background knowledge needed to smartly implement digital tools into organizations.

Contact an IEEE Account Specialist to get access for your organization.

Interested in the course for yourself? Check out the courses below on the IEEE Learning Network.

Resources

Demetrius, Jim. (25 March 2021). Digital transformation: 3 ways to get infrastructure updates back on track. The Enterprise Project.

Violins, Bob. (8 March 2021). Mitigating the hidden risks of digital transformation. CIO.

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