About five years ago, while working as a senior systems engineer for a local book manufacturer, a few members of our IT team were having a very spirited debate on the future of the cloud. I was a pretty vocal naysayer of this cloud movement at the time. It was my opinion that the cloud was nothing more than hosted services that have been around since the 1980s, just given a new, flashy name.
I also pontificated that no business in their right mind would place all their valuable data into the faceless hands of Joe Schmoe at Microsoft or Google. I remember asking this: you may trust Microsoft, but do you trust Joe?
Well, here we are five years later and I have learned a lot about cloud computing and the massive infrastructures behind it. The cloud has also grown to be immensely more reliable, flexible and secure.
I have learned about the strict datacenter security measures at Microsoft and how Mr. Schmoe has no ability to access my company data without being heavily audited and visible. I’ve discovered that private datacenters are breeched hundreds of times more often than cloud datacenters.
Microsoft has created some of the most robust cloud security features on the market in their Azure Active Directory, coupled with the Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) offering. With a single product license, you are given deep insight into where your data is going once it leaves your cloud storage, and powerful tools to keep it from going anywhere you don’t want it to.
There are also a lot of options and features in the cloud for the relatively low price per user. Should you choose SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, or CaaS? Do you deploy in hybrid mode or cloud first? How do we keep a single sign-on between Azure and Active Directory? Questions like these are what the very experienced and certified consultants at C/D/H best at answering.
Navigating through https://portal.azure.com can be very daunting for someone who is dipping their toes into the water for the first time. Office 365 has become much easier to deploy, but it is still something that requires experience and skill to do correctly.
At C/D/H, we are helping businesses large and small navigate through the ocean of options when deploying and employing these tools in the cloud. We sit down with key stakeholders and, as a team, determine what makes sense to put into place, in what order, and to what extent within the context of the business operations.
The cloud is here and it is going to be the way that business is done for the foreseeable future. The longer a business waits to get into the cloud, the more rushed they will feel when they eventually need to migrate there. My heartfelt advice is to start planning now so you can take your time and ensure that it is done right the first time.
If you need a helping hand, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to share with you what you need to know to navigate the cloud safely and securely.