Embracing IaaS helps firms take control over their data

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) helps organisations become more flexible and agile and takes away much of the pain and hassle synonymous with legacy systems

Kevin Hall, senior systems engineer, Datapac: many organisations may find themselves weighing up whether to stay or migrate, recommending that they should consider how cloud and on-premise need to be unified

With apps and services now being more data-intensive, having the resources to deliver and improve continuously is paramount. The demands have risen so much that consumers are sensitive to moments where there’s poor performance, slowness, or downtime.

To ensure this isn’t the case, more organisations are embracing IaaS, which lets them take greater control over their IT infrastructure.

Changing the mindset of how infrastructure is used and consumed means organisations will frequently see significant benefits from moving from an upfront capital expense to an operational investment model, said Kevin Hall, senior systems engineer at Datapac.

“By outsourcing these functions to the experts, organisations may rest assured that they are seeing the maximum value from their investment right from the get-go,” he explained. “[It] removes any element of a learning curve that their internal IT team may need to overcome.”

There are multiple reasons why organisations rely more and more on public cloud technologies to enhance their digital transformation efforts.

That said, not all business applications can be successfully migrated with older, legacy applications not necessarily being cloud compatible.

Hall mentions that many organisations may find themselves weighing up whether to stay or migrate, recommending that they should consider how cloud and on-premise need to be unified.

The other reason upfront costs can be daunting for an organisation is that it can be challenging to see and measure return on investment. In the old days, organisations would buy infrastructure overprovisioned to cater to current requirements and future growth demands.

The unused resources would only increase costs in maintenance, energy and security.

What a managed solution provides is the ability to scale up and down in real-time to match demand and pay a predictable bill according to actual usage.

When initially undergoing a cloud migration, organisations must move a lot of their data, workloads and applications where possible to the cloud. That said, not all business-critical applications can be migrated, meaning they remain on-premise and contribute to further data creation and storage.

As this can hinder transparency, it can be challenging to predict recurring costs which can lead to budgeting issues. Hall explained that IaaS can help overcome this by working closely with managed providers and platforms that make it easy to get an exact view of their costs and equate them to the actual resources used..

“With this assurance in place, organisations can confidently plan their adjusted costs accordingly as they scale resource utilisation up and down aligned with business requirements,” he said.

Damien Mallon, senior systems engineer, Datapac: ‘For it to be maximally effective, cybersecurity needs to be a top-down business-driven approach’

Keeping things secure

Another concern that MSPs can address is cybersecurity, with high-profile attacks putting it front and centre of people’s attention.

It’s forced many organisations to rethink their security posture, although some responded by just upping their defence in terms of cybersecurity point solutions deployed, which is problematic.

“Firstly, just sticking on a point solution and expecting it to solve all cybersecurity woes is flawed thinking,” explained Damien Mallon, senior systems engineer of Datapac.

“For it to be maximally effective, cybersecurity needs to be a top-down business-driven approach that involves it being woven into the fabric of operational processes and procedures, not just a box-ticking exercise.”

The second reason is the challenge of tackling security by yourself. The lack of a vendor or MSP to support makes it a tall order for most organisations and by teaming up with one, you can strategically roadmap and implement the necessary steps and tools needed.

“Another issue is that, with staff turnover, security products can become something of an unknown when managing them in-house,” added Mallon. “It not only impacts the level of protection delivered but can also hinder the return organisations are seeing on their investment.”

While getting the latest and greatest security products is tempting, their impact is minimal if you don’t have people continuously monitoring dashboards.

Mallon said that even large organisations with mature security operations struggle to get the staffing resources needed to monitor for and respond to threats 24/7, something bad actors are very aware of.

“Cybercriminals are well aware of this,” he said. “They will perform reconnaissance on their target for days, weeks, even months before they strike and they learn the patterns of behaviour and activity.

“When they know the defences are least likely to be monitored by a human, they will plan their attack to coincide. Outsourcing cyber-defence to a trusted expert that can provide the best level of hands-on, eyes-on, AI-enhanced protection.”

All organisations are impacted by the IT skills shortage, which can make it a challenge to know where to start regarding cybersecurity.

Working with a skilled MSP allows organisations to tap into additional knowledge pools and expertise and greatly enhance incident response, said Mallon.

“When you trust your cybersecurity to a proven outsourced expert, even if something does happen, the provider is very well-versed in how to remediate the challenge quickly,” he said.