In this blog series we briefly cover seven trends that impact your Identity and Access management strategy. In this part we cover the Increase of the use of cloud hosting and hybrid hosting solutions and why it’s so important that you align them with your IAM strategy.
Nowadays most organizations have adopted cloud technology and use it in several forms. It’s being used in a hybrid set-up as some companies still have the need for on-premise installations for certain legacy applications and use cloud platforms for all their other applications. By doing so they are still able to benefit from the faster time to market and lower IT asset ownership costs that cloud hosting provides them with, and still have the ability to use their legacy applications hosted in their own data centers.
As companies are gradually getting rid of legacy applications replacing them with newer versions that can be hosted in the cloud we’ve seen an overall shift to the cloud. Either private or public cloud(s) or a combination of both. According to a survey by Flexera held under 750 respondents; 93% have embraced multi cloud strategy of which 87% has hybrid cloud strategy. Of all respondents 59% expects cloud usage to even exceed prior plans due to COVID-19.
But what are the main drivers for companies to move to the cloud? You might think that cost and performance of IT operation is the number one motivator for companies to move their data and applications to the cloud as it will increase the organizational agility and create greater efficiency.
This is actually not the case according to a survey held by Deloitte under 500 IT leaders and executives. This survey reveals that the number one reason to migrate to the cloud is security and data protection. 58% of the respondents are ranking it the number 1 or number 2 reason.
This is not strange as cyber security attacks are getting more and more sophisticated and it is hard to keep up with this as there is a shortage of skills which makes it difficult to hire people and manage security in-house. Therefore a lot of companies are turning to third-party cloud and managed security services to benefit from their expertise.
Next to that, data modernization comes in as a close number 2 of the main motivators to move to the cloud. This all has to do with moving data from legacy databases to modern databases in the cloud. As business is becoming more data driven than ever and decisions are being made on data insights that are based on data mining, prediction and exploration, having timely and targeted access to data has become really important. As much of the data is stored in the cloud nowadays, moving all your data there makes sense as you’ll be able to create an effective data platform in the cloud.
But what does this move to the cloud mean for your IAM strategy? We’ve now seen that cyber security is one of the main reasons that companies move to the cloud. Advanced threat prevention tools and network layer controls are key security measures in a cloud environment, but this is not enough on its own. You need to have Identity and Access management in place to control the access and the permissions that users and cloud resources have. As we all know the concept “identity is the new perimeter” and this is also the case when moving to the cloud.
With IAM solutions you’ll be able to manage the digital identities within your company and grant these identities the right permissions to access the right resources at the right time. This can be done using automated processes using role based access controls (RBAC) or other dynamic roles, making sure you are in control of who has access to what. You can manage the access not only for the resources that are hosted on premise but also the resources that are hosted in the cloud. This way you can use one tool that enforces your security policies and access controls on your entire IT environment, giving you and auditors complete transparency though easily generated compliance reports while utilizing automated workflows to increase value for your business users.