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Digital Transformation is key to IT modernization –

Rohit Singal, VP – India, Rahi talks about how choosing the right IT solution provider is critical for the success of any business and IT modernization requires deep expertise across the IT segments.
Ques: Why should companies have the right strategy when moving to the cloud?
 Ans: The right cloud strategy is important for organizations as it will help to overcome the obstacles and maximize the benefits of cloud adoption. The first step is to identify the business and IT reasons for moving to the cloud. The business might require to become agile and scalable for rapid growth and IT might want to upgrade to implement new technologies. The second step is to decide which applications and workloads will move to the cloud. Non-core applications such as email and collaboration can definitely move to the cloud and on the other hand, mission-critical workloads need to reside on-premises for security, regulatory compliance, or performance reasons. The applications that are in between will have to be analyzed for the feasibility and difficulty of migrating to the cloud.
We should involve key stakeholders to address all skills gaps and critical dependencies. Give importance to security when planning to move to the cloud. Stakeholders need to understand their responsibilities for ensuring the privacy and integrity of applications and data. Re-evaluate the security policies and check if it has to be changed and if new controls have to be implemented.
With the consumption-based pricing model, the finance team will have to reassess their planning and budgeting. Cloud services provide very granular pricing data, and organizations should be prepared to take advantage of it to better align IT expenses to maximize business results.
Ques: What are the key elements of a modern approach to defining a comprehensive enterprise security strategy?
Ans: Organizations often adopt multiple security tools to address specific threats. According to the Ponemon Institute’s Cyber Resilient Organization Study, the average organization has more than 45 different security tools. However, a plethora of tools won’t improve the organization’s security posture. In fact, “tool sprawl” can create management, interoperability, and governance issues. These challenges are leading many organizations to update their cybersecurity strategies. A modernization effort can reduce tool sprawl, streamline management and improve the organization’s ability to detect, prevent and respond to cyberthreats.
Here are the key elements of a modern approach to defining a comprehensive Enterprise Security Strategy.
Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)  –  Security has traditionally focused on the network perimeter and the user, device, or application inside the secure perimeter is of trust. But this model is not effective in the remote and hybrid work models. The rapid adoption of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and shadow IT applications have further complicated perimeter-based security. In a zero-trust approach, all users, devices, and applications are not of trust, to begin with.
Software-Defined Perimeter: Virtual private networks (VPNs) have long been the solution to remote connectivity. However, they are rigid in configuration and are not flexible to support custom user policies. With the adoption of the cloud, it’s simply not feasible to provision and manage VPNs for every connection. Software-Defined Perimeter solutions grant users selective access to specific resources based on device, location, time of day, and other variables.
Identity and Access Management (IAM):  The perimeter constantly moves based on the location of users and applications they access in a zero-trust model. Identity management is foundational to this approach and this solution helps in managing user identities and credentials. It grants access and authentication to users and provides capabilities such as single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, and federated identity management.
Mobile Device Management: Mobile device management (MDM) is essential to any security strategy in the era of BYOD and users working on phones. Remote and mobile users are using their personal devices to access business-critical applications and data. The MDM solution should be compatible with the single sign-on and multifactor authentication approaches and incorporate zero trust principles.
Extended Detection and Response (XDR): Organizations must secure the endpoints themselves. Extended detection and response (EDR) solutions monitor endpoints for cyber-attacks and automatically take action to prevent them. They use analytics to protect against advanced persistent threats and zero-day attacks.
Ques: Why is it important to choose the right partner for digital transformation?
Ans: Digital Transformation (DX) is key for IT modernization as organizations adopt new technologies for the changing business and to meet customers’ demands. Organizations that embrace DX are able to bring new products and services to market.
They can enhance the customer experience and meet business goals. A lot of organizations begin their digital transformation initiatives before starting the IT modernization journey. But the architectures were not ready to support new technologies like artificial intelligence, big data analytics, machine learning, etc. This resulted in performance issues, downtime, and cyber threats. The migration and modernization of the right workloads or applications are important for the success of organizations.
Choosing the right IT solution provider is critical for the success of any business. IT modernization requires deep expertise across the IT segments. An IT solution provider must also have the right insight and knowledge to develop a strategic approach that meets the current and future requirements of a business of its customers. Digital infrastructure services provided by Rahi enable secure, reliable delivery of applications and services. These services are based upon our proven ELEVATE service methodology that starts with an in-depth assessment of the existing infrastructure. To improve IT operations, we then conduct a gap analysis to prioritize technology solutions. Rahi identifies legacy systems that will benefit from modernization and develops a road map for enhancing the stability, performance, and security of IT infrastructure.
Ques: Do edge data centers have a competitive advantage over centralized data centers?
Ans: PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that the global market for edge data centers will more than triple, from $4 billion in 2017 to $13.5 billion in 2024. The low latency of current colocation data centers will hamper user adoption. The applications that are latency-sensitive, the edge reduces data transmission time to single-digit milliseconds, which is extremely valuable in delivering a seamless virtual experience. With the advancement of new technologies such as IoT, AI, ML, and big data the amount of data collected at the source is growing exponentially. Hence data processing has to happen at the edge and this led to its popularity among organizations.
Organizations can enhance network reliability by distributing mission-critical data, applications, and workloads across a chain of smaller data centers. This helps to reduce the pressure on the central data centers. Edge architecture might be expensive at the moment but the cost will plummet with the evolving technological landscape and greater reliance on edge data centers. Edge will play an important role in the success of the metaverse and is required for public acceptance and integration. The data on edge does not travel a long distance and this ensures data security as data in transit is the most vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Data is distributed across multiple smaller edge data centers hence it reduces the risk involved. The end users have more control over the data as less data is moved to the cloud in edge data centers. Edge data centers are extremely beneficial for industries that have to process data in real-time such as autonomous vehicles, telemedicine, telecommunication, OTT platforms, and smart wearables. Organizations will consider edge data centers to minimize operational costs and improve performance globally and in India.
Ques: What are the benefits of combining cloud and colocation?
Ans: For years, organizations have weighed two main options for hosting data center infrastructure — the cloud or colocation. Today, however, the overall trend is toward using both cloud and colocation services in a hybrid environment. In the hybrid model, companies increasingly use the cloud to support Software-as-a-Service applications and other workloads built for cloud platforms while opting to run workloads requiring more privacy and support in a colocation facility. In the colo model, customers rent space for their servers, storage, and other computing hardware from a third-party provider who assumes responsibility for the bulk of administrative and management functions.
According to an IDG study, companies save up to 60 percent on cloud connectivity by eliminating in-house setup charges. Instead, colo customers take advantage of a variety of robust connectivity options offered by providers. Colo facilities also contribute to improve regulatory compliance because they are required to implement a multitude of security and privacy measures to protect customer data. Providers must demonstrate they comply with key standards regarding the use of security controls, processes, and procedures. Colocation has emerged as an “essential pillar” in a successful hybrid IT strategy.
Cloud and colocation should no longer be seen as competing infrastructures, but rather as two sides of the same coin. Because they address different workload requirements, they work together to provide an effective alternative to costly and complex in-house data centers.

CXOtoday is a premier resource on the world of IT, relevant to key business decision makers. We offer IT perspective & news to the C-suite audience. We also provide business and technology news to those who evaluate, invest, and manage the IT infrastructure of organizations. CXOtoday has a well-networked and strong community that encourages discussions on what’s happening in the world of IT and its impact on businesses.

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