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The sky is that the limit – the importance of Cloud Assurance to Digital Transformation

Cloud computing is one among the technologies turning the way businesses are run the wrong way up . New emerging powerhouses like Airbnb don't own one hotel and yet have a bigger market cap than any hotel chain within the world.information technology schools Even the most important established businesses are adapting to disrupt industries with General Motors investment in rideshare begin Lyft. Digital transformation (DX) will affect all businesses. consistent with a survey which was conducted before Code Computerlove’s ‘Leading your business through digital transformation’ event earlier in June this year, 86 percent of business leaders think digital transformation is important within their organisation.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Digital transformation (DX) will affect all businesses.” hashtags=”tech, cloud, IoT”]

Established enterprises face much more significant challenges than their startup competitors. New players like Airbnb and Uber have an enormous advantage, they will operate almost exclusively within the cloud. Established enterprises often have legacy systems and applications that can't be virtualised and migrated to the cloud. Furthermore, regulatory compliance may require that a number of the digital assets need to stay a company’s premise. Therefore, the road ahead is more complicated than simply migrating infrastructure and applications to the cloud.

Clouded vision

The cloud offers enterprises the very attractive proposition of having the ability to extend the infrastructure capacity whilst also having the ability to deploy new services as and once they are needed. This new found flexibility does, however, have its drawbacks. Enterprises may lose visibility and control over the info and therefore the quality of the service which they provide . The CIO is that the key figure who can make sure that a business maintains control of its digital assets to assure continuity and quality of services. they're during a unique position to style a digital transformation strategy that pulls together disparate systems and assures the continued smooth running of the business.

It is vital that the CIO handles cloud-based assets like all other IT resource. they're going to be deployed to support enterprise functions and mission critical systems in order that they got to be closely monitored. Once an enterprise embraces digital transformation, the CIO must be ready to have complete visibility across all cloud-based systems within the business. they ought to be during a position to veto any initiatives that don't suits the general corporate IT business assurance strategy.

For the CIO, having the ability to watch activity continuously across the whole service delivery infrastructure, both on-premise and within the cloud in real-time is completely vital for having the ability to support business agility to quickly introduce new services during a digitally connected world.

Digital transformation is serious business
An ongoing challenge facing businesses in 2016, is that companies are counting on a mixture of public cloud services providers, private cloud and on-premises technology which make it difficult to possess a holistic view of the infrastructure. With more and more systems counting on the performance of external services, it’s a challenge to pin down the basis explanation for a service disturbance when it occurs, thanks to complex dependencies of multiple service delivery elements both on and off of a companies’ premises. this is often evidence on why the CIO must provide oversight for the enterprise as an entire .

[easy-tweet tweet=”86 percent of business leaders think digital transformation is important within their organisation.” hashtags=”tech, cloud, IoT”]

What is needed may be a complete end-to-end view of the whole service delivery infrastructure. Without this visibility, service failure and even criminal activities, like hacking and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, can go unnoticed. With such a lot of recent commercial activity reliant on the effective operation of the network, it's vital to be ready to identify and address issues quickly and effectively, lest they need serious consequences for the organisation

Sitting on Cloud 9

Cloud assurance will play an absolutely vital role within the DX transformation process for an excellent majority of enterprises within the coming years. The CIO are going to be the figure who is within the strongest position to supply a business assurance oversight across the whole business. they have to be ready to manage every new cloud based service and application which is adopted by the business. By providing this oversight, the CIO are going to be ready to identify any anomalies or threats also as make sure that all new cloud applications slot in with the general IT assurance strategy. Balancing the graceful , continual running of the business throughout the digital transformation process is not any easy task, however, the CIO is perfectly placed to create unity into the IT strategy and ensure businesses reap the advantages within the coming years.

Digital Transformation: How Teams are Writing Applications without having to Code

The rush is on to digitise products, services, customer engagement and operations; both to capitalise on the chance and to avoid becoming a victim of latest and faster competition. consistent with MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research, 32 percent of revenue is in danger by 2020 thanks to digital disruption. this means a debilitating future for firms which lag behind within the digital revolution. Leaders will steal their revenue.

[easy-tweet tweet=”The rush is on to digitise products, services, customer engagement and operations” hashtags=”tech, cloud, IT”]

Creating an innovation ‘fast-lane’
To survive and thrive, every company must become an innovative software company. Firms must harness the facility of recent application software to differentiate themselves; create new products or channels that weren’t accessible before; and have interaction customers, partners and employees in new ways. Perhaps most crucial of all, it means releasing applications early and sometimes and ensuring a cycle of continuous innovation.

The challenge for established firms though is that existing IT teams are rightly focused on maintaining core applications and important systems. to beat this, many companies embrace a ‘bi-modal’ IT approach to digital transformation augmenting existing resources with small, cross-functional teams focused exclusively on innovative applications. Typically, team members are tech-savvy business people or business-savvy tech people – the purpose being that they’re ready to bridge the gap between business needs and technical possibilities to rework ideas into applications quickly.

It’s important to recognise that requirements for digital solutions are often fuzzy at the beginning of the project. Teams should work, in short, iterative cycles in close collaboration with end users. The key's to define the minimum viable or useful functionality required of an application, build and release that version, then iterate continually supported user feedback.

[easy-tweet tweet=”It’s important to understand that requirements for digi-solutions are often fuzzy starting a project.” hashtags=”tech, cloud, IT”]

No got to Code

Writing applications using traditional code-based approaches doesn’t always suit rapid-pace software development. Skilled coders are briefly supply and may be challenging and expensive to recruit. And coding an application can take an extended time, versus other approaches, without delivering the specified business outcomes. an alternate is to think about a low-code development platform, which offers a visible modelling ‘drag and drop to a workflow’ approach to putting together applications. Mendix is one among many such platforms.

The use of visual models to define an application’s data model, interface and logic creates a standard language for business and IT to collaborate and progress the build iteratively. It also delivers significant productivity gains over hand-coding.information technology degree Typically, suitable applications are given six, even ten times faster when using visual modelling than via traditional coding approaches. Visual modelling platforms also further shorten time to plug through offering reusable components, drag-and-drop connectors to enterprise systems also as IoT, big data and machine learning platforms, one-click cloud deployment, and more.

How to use a visible Modelling Platform

While a logical mind is imperative, most low-code development platforms require no prior programming experience. Learners can expect, to start with a vendor provided online training session or workshop. this may present the fundamentals of the way to use their platform to capture requirements, and build applications simply via selecting themes and components from a library and dropping them into a workflow. Delegates can learn in only each day approximately to create their own simple web and mobile applications, which they will deploy locally or within the Cloud. Most have a lively developer community offering guidance, support and meet-ups. Vendors typically also offer advanced training courses and workshops. Some provide formal exams too, allowing reach certified developer status thereon vendor’s platform.

Of course, the power for non-coders to quickly devour these platforms shouldn’t imply that professional developers can’t also leverage them. In fact, developers who value speed and shut collaboration with peers from the business over getting caught up in specific technologies often embrace visual modelling.

Evidence from the sector 

Does it work? There are many good examples around for using low-code development platforms to hurry up digital transformation projects. At UK insurer Liverpool Victoria (“LV=”) the CIO says that employing a visual modelling platform helps them to realize the speed and agility to compete during a growingly innovative UK industry. Springer Healthcare, a publisher, inbuilt just 12 weeks a mobile application for its sales department that might have taken 52 weeks to make using code, while Kao Beauty built a worldwide sales application for its mobile workforce in only one tenth of the time coding would have taken. Another visual modelling advocate is that the charity Action for youngsters . Its head of business systems development says that constructing applications this manner is fast, giving working prototypes they will demonstrate to users in only days, enabling the step-by-step creation of user-friendly and fit-for-purpose applications.

[easy-tweet tweet=”There are many examples for using low-code dev platforms to hurry up projects” hashtags=”cloud, tech, IT”]

The demand for digital transformation projects is putting many pressure on business and IT leaders. Low-code development platforms are well proven to support the innovation and fast delivery of fitting applications that customers, employees and partners are wanting to use. Skilled coders are worth their weight in gold. But your people don’t always need to be ready to code to make great digital applications.

The race for the longer term of driving

In technology, first place isn’t everything. There are many samples of businesses coming late to the party, perfecting an existing idea and walking away with the profits. After all, Apple didn’t invent the MP3 player, smartphone or the tablet. However, implementing a thought first does offer some benefits, particularly when it involves high-value products that buyers are unlikely to cut and alter so readily. this is often why the race is on for technology firms to perfect subsequent stage of automotive evolution: the self-driving car.

[easy-tweet tweet=”The race is on for technology firms to perfect subsequent stage of automotive evolution” hashtags=”tech, IoT, driverless”]

Who’s within the driving seat?
Despite the technology only being at the testing stage, there are already variety of companies openly pursuing self-driving technology. These are often split into two groups: traditional automobile firms and modern technology corporations. When it involves the previous , Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda and Volkswagen are just a couple of of the big-name competitors, while Google, Apple and Tesla are a number of the more prominent tech firms involved. However, with each business choosing to divulge varying amounts of data , it's faraway from clear which company is presumably to dominate the autonomous vehicle industry.

Tesla, the electrical car firm led by Elon Musk, has perhaps been the foremost open about its self-driving projects, with the company’s “auto-pilot” feature having been included (although not enabled) on every Tesla release since September 2014. However, the corporate suffered a setback in May when a Tesla driver was killed after the onboard software was unable to select out a white lorry against the brilliant sky. It remains to be seen whether updates announced in the week are going to be enough to assuage consumer worries.

Google has also been happy to share information regarding its self-driving car, having already clocked up quite 1.5 million miles, while Apple’s progress has proven more secretive with rumours of setbacks and layoffs having plagued the mysterious “Project Titan” for a few time. For Tesla, Apple, Google and therefore the more traditional automotive firms, this race is probably one that's more likely to be won by the tortoise than the hare. A premature release followed by an accident of any kind which will be attributed to a software or error would be disastrous for the corporate involved and will set back the whole self-driving vehicle industry by years.

[easy-tweet tweet=”This race is probably one that's more likely to be won by the tortoise than the hare” hashtags=”IoT, tech, driverless”]

The home straight

Whichever company ultimately comes out on top, they'll still have a difficult task convincing consumers to abandoning of the wheel. technology credit unionapart from safety concerns, many may find it difficult to transition from driver to passenger, particularly given Mr Musk’s recent suggestion that human-driven cars could become illegal within the future. Will self-driving cars be such a simple sell if they're viewed because the beginning of the top for driving itself?

On the opposite side of the argument, Gerry Keaney, Chief military officer of British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), believes that autonomous vehicles are likely to receive a warm reception from the general public . “Every demographic study you examine children living within the major cities shows that they're increasingly less motivated to find out to drive,” he said. “They are less motivated to require their driving test and, where they are doing learn to drive, they're less curious about owning a vehicle.”

Ultimately, it's surely a matter of ‘if’, not ‘when’ we'll see self-driving cars filling our motorways. Reservations are understandable, but technological progress usually carries on regardless. If that weren’t the case, we’d still be travelling around by coach and horseback.

Mitigating the safety Risks: migrating legacy applications to the Cloud

For many organisations, an increasing proportion of the applications that they believe for his or her day-to-day business operations are hosted within the cloud. This stands to reason: the cloud offers a variety of advantages from cost to flexibility and scalability, which makes it a beautiful option at a time when the necessity to ‘do more with less’ is high on the company agenda.

[easy-tweet tweet=”The Cloud offers a variety of advantages from cost to flexibility and scalability” hashtags=”cloud, tech, IT”]

However, moving legacy applications to the cloud comes with its own set of security challenges. The way that an application is employed and hosted within the cloud might be significantly different from how the first application was deployed on-premise. With shared tenancy and multiple users using an equivalent stack, organisations got to assess and remediate new vulnerabilities. Planning the journey, and understanding and mitigating these security risks, is key.

Application Security

Cloud computing has fast become the de-facto model of computing for several key applications and services. In fact, it's estimated that, by 2018, 50% of the applications running publicly cloud environments are going to be considered mission-critical by the organisations that use them. The cloud evolution and every one the advantages that accompany hosted applications and services – reduced operating costs and an ‘on-demand’ consumption model – now mean that the cloud-first, or cloud-only, approach to applications will soon be the default .

As with any significant change, there are security risks. Yet where the main target for cloud security has typically been on the controls and checks in situ protecting the infrastructure on the cloud provider side, organisations must also consider security from the attitude of the planning and architecture of the appliance that’s running in their cloud. Migrating apps to the cloud introduces new issues arising from inter-connections and interactions between components, authentication, logging and key management. A critical a part of the trail to migration is identifying any missing or weak security controls or flaws within the application itself that would increase the danger of a breach.

[easy-tweet tweet=”A critical a part of path to migration is identifying any missing or weak security controls” hashtags=”tech, cloud, security”]

Organisations got to start by assessing their strategy including:

Defining the boundaries

One of the problems to resolve is defining the lines of responsibility. For on-premise applications, the organisation is wholly liable for security. within the cloud model, responsibilities shift to the cloud provider, so it’s important to understand exactly what these are and where the ‘hand-off’ is. Many network and application level security assessments become strictly cloud provider activities – or they will only be conducted if the provider permits the action. Some assurance activities that were typically conducted by security consulting firms are now responsibilities of cloud providers.

For example, with a SaaS (Software as a Service) model, during which the cloud provider runs the infrastructure and application for the customer, they also own the bulk of security responsibility and control. within the IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) model, the customer runs and manages virtual machines during a software-defined environment. this suggests that the customer has the best security control and responsibility.

Security Assessments

A full security assessment can help to spot the precise areas of risk. this may not only make sure that the appliance works optimally within the cloud, but also that there are not any new risks as a results of the migration.

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This should include a configuration review: assessing the cloud platform layer controls and testing applications for vulnerabilities, remediating what's found. Performing deeper testing, combining static testing (SAST) and dynamic testing (DAST) and code review will identify the risks. Reviews of the planning and architecture of the appliance , along side threat modelling, will identify where the risks are and where action must be taken. this might highlight issues like how authentication and authorisation is meant for the appliance , analysing the encryption mechanism and key management design. it'll determine if you're protected against targeted threats like malicious insiders, or an external cyber criminal.

Ultimately, the responsibility for the safety of the appliance rests with the organisation. As more folks make the journey to the cloud, ensuring that application security has been addressed which any flaws in design or architecture are remediated – must become a core a part of the migration strategy.