How to Adapt Your Global Cloud Strategy for Hybrid Working

11 March 2021 | Posted by Matt Willis

As more organizations turn to a hybrid working model, it's important to adapt your public cloud strategy so your infrastructure can stay agile, resilient, and scalable.

In the next two to three years, around three in ten organizations expect more than 70% of their employees to work remotely. But while employee productivity has increased, employees have expressed concerns about remote working in the long-term. This indicates a fast-rising trend towards a hybrid workplace and CIOs need to adjust their cloud strategies in response.

Organizations and employees expect remote working to stay but will shift to a hybrid model.

— Capgemini

Tech Strategy Should Reflect Business Strategy

Cloud technology should always enable business and it can only do this if their respective strategies are aligned. One of the major challenges during the pandemic was sudden changes in one strategy that left the other having to play catch up.

In some organizations, new cloud solutions aren't being used effectively because the people in the business can't take advantage of the opportunities available - or might not be aware they exist. In others, mandates from the board declaring a need for greater agility are stymied by legacy systems and processes.

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By aligning technology and business strategies you become more agile. As business goals pivot, IT can more readily respond with solutions to support and maintain enterprise momentum. In turn, technological advances and improvements are hardwired into current and future strategies and initiatives.

So how do we adapt our global cloud strategy to support a hybrid working model?

Adapting Cloud Strategy to Hybrid Working

The shift to a hybrid workforce model is inevitable, but you can’t just give your employee a laptop and a bonus to buy a better chair. Organizations have to adapt their cloud strategies to focus on employee needs and behaviors.

1. Audit

Many organizations are moving to a hybrid model after adopting remote working during the pandemic. In their haste to get remote working up and running, many businesses favored enablement over security, cost optimization, and best practice.

Audit your cloud environment to take stock of where you are today and how you're going to get to your ideal hybrid working operating model. Take the time to fill in the gaps that might have been overlooked to create a future-proof environment that's agile without being vulnerable.

2. Improve Network Performance

As cloud adoption has increased and branch offices and remote workers alike need to access multiple clouds, organizations are seeing the limitations of traditional WAN solutions.

SD-WAN provides the answer. You can configure it to prioritize business-critical traffic and real-time services like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and then effectively steer it over the most efficient route.

By facilitating critical applications through reliable, high-performance connections, you reduce packet loss and latency issues, improving network performance across your environment.

3. Rethink Cloud Security

Hybrid working means that employees need to access business applications from both inside and outside your network perimeter. This makes remote workers the weakest link in your security chain.

Security platforms may provide security and vulnerability management to  traditional edge environments, home offices and remote workers. But they're far from the protections of enterprise-grade security solutions. So, cloud strategy needs to adapt by having a greater emphasis on "zero trust least privilege" principles to secure network access.

Companies will also have to find the new balance between networking, security and compute needs, especially as it relates to shared responsibilities across the infrastructure, platform and software.

4. Visibility & Management

An existing cloud strategy will have protocols for tagging resources, inventory management etc. To adapt to a hybrid working model there needs to be more emphasis on visibility and accountability across your environment.

While most cloud providers offer native cost optimization and security capabilities, without a centralized view into data across environments, IT teams are forced to work in complex data silos. Centralized cloud visibility combined with the ability to automatically detect activity, analyze, and optimize cost and security is critical.

The Rise of the Hybrid Workforce

To enable a hybrid working model, business leaders need to question existing structures, rethink the effectiveness of operating models, and break down organizational silos and barriers between teams. Then they'll see the improved productivity, lower costs, and strengthened cultural fabric that makes this business model so attractive.

At Cass, we’re experienced in cloud management and offer a guiding hand to help you manage the cost and security of your public cloud space. All while helping you use the power of the cloud to enable tomorrow's hybrid workforce.

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