Data management, security driving global healthcare cloud market, report

Global healthcare cloud market revenue is expected to surge at a compound annual growth rate of 25.1 per cent from 2018 to 2023 according to a recent report by Research and Markets.

Cloud computing in healthcare is gaining momentum as a variety of factors create a significant need for the value propositions that a successful cloud implementation promises to offer.

Cloud computing involves the use of external suppliers of infrastructure, platforms, and software. As a result, former capital expenses or owned software systems are transitioned to a service offered by a cloud provider or participants within a cloud service provider’s ecosystem.

The study focuses on cloud services that are used by providers and other healthcare stakeholders seeking to manage clinical and business workflows and reduce certain costs associated with the data-rich global healthcare environment.

The study reviewed the significant drivers that are propelling cloud computing in healthcare. For example, the data flow resulting from digital health systems will transform healthcare into a Big Data environment. This trend will include data from telehealth and increasingly from consumer-generated remote monitoring systems. There is a consistent view across the industry that healthcare providers are eager to take advantage of the cloud, but this is offset by the reality that careful planning and diligence must be performed in order to ensure that the configuration of the selected cloud implementation is the correct path forward.

 Also challenging is the fact that providers are finding it difficult to staff the IT cloud management experts needed to ensure a smooth transition from in-house systems. The transition to usage-based cloud services must be well planned to avoid the potential for higher-than-anticipated costs.

For example, the migration of data from internal data centers to cloud services can be complicated, depending on the systems involved. There is also the ever-present need to maintain data security and patient privacy.

Cloud computing offers a compelling financial proposition for healthcare providers. By utilizing the infrastructure of a cloud service provider, healthcare providers should be able to achieve increased scalability and reduce their IT costs. In addition, the use of software-as-a-service will relieve medical staff from time-intensive management of various software-related maintenance and update functions.

The study also reviews the potential for the healthcare cloud to accelerate the deployment of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and advanced data analytics.

The evolving healthcare cloud will increase the potential for data system interoperability across the healthcare industry. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the cloud will be the growth of a new generation of ecosystems that will revolutionize the way that clinical and operational data can be used to support improved patient outcomes and customer relationship management.

 Although a great deal of media attention is devoted to tracking familiar cloud market leaders such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, this report will identify and summarize the activities of key participants of the emerging healthcare cloud ecosystem.

This dynamic ecosystem will be the catalyst of new growth opportunities for specialized service suppliers across the global healthcare industry.

www.researchandmarkets.com

Cloud usage drives cybersecurity spending, SANS 2020 report

The rapid migration to cloud-based technologies is the biggest disrupter worldwide of operations and a key driver when organisations plan their spending increases, according to the results of the latest SANS 2020 Cybersecurity Spending Survey.

“The SANS survey showed that rapid movement of corporate services and business applications to cloud-based technology is the biggest factor causing breakage in existing security architectures as well as driving most new security spending,” says John Pescatore, SANS Director of Emerging Security Trends. “Cloud monitoring and cloud security access controls were the top two spending areas, followed by spending to increase security staff skills to deal with new technologies, such as the cloud, and to keep up with changes in regulations as well as new threats.”

Slightly more than 50% of respondents ranked the increased use of public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) implementations as the biggest disrupter to security programs in the next 12 months. Based on that, 71% of respondents reported seeing a need to increase spending on cloud security monitoring, followed by cloud access security broker cloud-specific tools (53%), staff skills training (52%) and strong authentication (46%). 

Overall, 57% of respondents feel that out of people, process and technology, an increased investment in people would provide the biggest improvement to their overall security posture, followed distantly by process (19%) and technology (18%). 

“Managers see increased and refreshed skills in their existing staff as being significantly more critical than simply increasing headcount,” according to Barbara Filkins, SANS Analyst Program Research Director and author of the report. “The fact that respondents prioritise increasing staff skills significantly over increasing headcount to deal with ‘disruptive technologies,’ especially when faced with escalating privacy regulations—and fines—worldwide, is not surprising. Business use of IaaS and hybrid cloud requires re-architecting security controls and integrating with CI/CD methodologies.”

In a series of follow-up interviews with selected survey respondents, security managers recognise the need for “upskilling” to increase retention rates, which improves both effectiveness and efficiency. Increased skills around new technologies and new security techniques is also required to enable any use of security automation technologies, which were not highly cited for spending increases in 2020.

Strong authentication, the fourth most highly cited area of planned new spending, points to the recognition that the majority of damage from breaches and ransomware attacks in the past year were enabled by the use of reusable passwords that were easily captured via phishing attacks. CEOs and boards of directors are backing security teams in overcoming obstacles to implementing multifactor authentication.

The report can be downloaded from the SANS website

www.sans.org

[Column] Johan Scheeper: Be data ready in 2020 by tackling key data issues

Data is an intrinsic part of business processes and also a source of competitive differentiation thanks to the potential of data analytics

Data is an intrinsic part of business processes and also a source of competitive differentiation thanks to the potential of data analytics. Data has become a mission critical business asset, which means that organisations need to be able to discover, protect and use it effectively and in a timely manner.

This concept is known as being ‘data ready’. While there are many factors affecting an organisation’s data readiness, three key issues will be prevalent in 2020: ransomware, multi-cloud environments and data compliance regulations. Tackling these key data issues can help organisations to be data ready in 2020.

Ransomware is rampant

Ransomware is a threat to each and every business today. In fact, it is so prevalent that an attack has become a matter of ‘when’ and no longer ‘if’. High-profile data breaches were a common theme in 2019, and many attacks caused several days of service outages.

A new malware threat called ‘wiper’ is also becoming increasingly prevalent. This malicious software does exactly as the name suggests – rather than holding data to ransom by encrypting it, it actually erases it from its storage media. This changes the game completely.

A data wipe is not about money, it is completely malicious and an outright hostile attack. Paying the ransom or de-encrypting ransomed data by other means is not an option. If you do not have an effective backup and recovery solution in place, and you are ‘hit’ by a successful wiper attack, your data is gone.

The ability to recover from a malware attack involves more than Disaster Recovery (DR). Manual backups and attached storage can also be infected, which means that having multiple backups is no longer enough. Being data ready in the case of malware means we have to think differently about business continuity.

It is imperative to have strategies in place to detect anomalous behaviour within data storage as well as backups and archived, so that attacks can be identified quickly and suspicious behaviour can trigger alerts to notify the correct people.

The key to a data ready recovery system is rapid, frequent and separated backups that allow you to bring key systems back online immediately while you ascertain where an attack came from, isolate it and remove it.

Managing data in multiple clouds

Most organisations already exist in a multi-cloud environment, even if they are unaware of this fact. Whether it is a hosted Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution, Office 365 or some form of cloud storage like Google Drive or iCloud, these solutions are frequently found in the makeup of businesses. On the other side of the coin, there is also no organisation that is completely 100% in the cloud.

This multi-cloud hybrid scenario creates the need to be able to move data between systems. There are many reasons why data may need to be moved, either between clouds or between the cloud and the premises. The underlying common factor is that business models need change, so data architecture needs to be able to adapt. This is part of data readiness – the ability to drive economies between cloud and on-premises solutions to maximise cost and benefit while minimising risk.

This, in turn, requires central visibility into all data across all of the various areas of storage. It is critical to data readiness to have a central management layer or platform in place to consolidate the view of data across the organisation. Without this visibility, it is impossible to migrate data to leverage the best provider or location to meet changing business needs.

Meeting compliance requirements

Data is becoming increasingly regulated and it is not enough to know that you have the data, you also need to understand the purpose for which it was collected. Companies must have a record of the consent from the consumer to use the data for its intended purpose and the ability to comply with the ‘right to forget’ should the consumer request this. This is an imperative of all data privacy regulations.

Data readiness means having a way of consistently knowing where data is, what type of data it is and the sensitivity of the information. This requires specific tools, as manually identifying sensitive data is simply not possible given the volumes of data in business today. It is also important to enable search and discovery to enable the ‘right to forget’ and then prove that the data has been removed, including from backups.

Be data ready in 2020

It is absolutely essential today to know what data you have, the purpose for which it was collected, and that it is adequately protected and can be recovered in the event of a data loss event. It is also critical to ensure that backups are protected and that they are tested to ensure that data recovery is possible.

Data readiness enables business agility by ensuring that data is available at all times in the right location to the right people. This means that your data can be leveraged to create business value. However, it is impossible to manage what you do not know exists.

Essentially, the ability to deal with pressing issues such as ransomware, the multi-cloud and compliance boils down to data governance and effective data management, which lie at the heart of data readiness.

Johan Scheepers is the Country Head at Commvault in South Africa. 

[Kenya] KCB picks Actifio to provide data backup and application development support

Actifio, the pioneer of multi-cloud copy data management software, has been chosen to provide comprehensive data backup and application development support for KCB Group, East Africa’s largest commercial bank.

The bank has placed the Actifio platform at the center of its DevOps and data management initiatives to assure stability and continuing business growth.

KCB Group Plc was established in Kenya in 1896. The bank has since expanded into Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia (Rep). The KCB Group Plc network includes 330 branches, 1,076 ATMs and more than 18,818 merchants and agents offering 24×7 services, including mobile and Internet banking.

Gabriel Kimanzi, KCB’s IT Risk and Security Officer, said, “We identified Actifio as our best data backup and recovery solution through a competitive process. Not only did Actifio closely match our primary criteria, but it also provides creative support for application development using application-aware data mounts. That is very powerful for us; a great benefit.”

Complex information technology is central to the operation of KCB’s banking business. Its technology needs to operate responsively and reliably to support bank business in seven countries while protecting the bank’s production and backup data centers. The bank needed to replace its complex and time-consuming tape-based process to eliminate unacceptable time delays and data recovery failures.

“The success rate of our old data backup system was horrible,” said Kimanzi. “We wasted too much staff time dealing with failures. It had become a major pain point and a real danger to the bank’s business.”

The KCB team recognized Actifio’s unique value in saving application developers’ time by using data virtualization to create database copies as needed without adding storage system capacity. “Actifio is a powerful tool for data protection and application development. Backup speed, simplicity of management, and excellent support were all factors in our decision,” said Christopher Tiren, KCB’s Chief Procurement Officer.

The Actifio benefits to KCB start with a powerful and affordable backup, test and development platform. The business has also gained simple, reliable, and consistent performance for data backup and recovery with unique value in time savings and self-service for application developers.

www.kcbgroup.com

www.actifio.com

Cloud offers 20% saving on IT spend

Cloud migration is typically driven by business demand, cost-savings and IT efficiency. However, to realise the full benefit of cloud migration, business leaders must understand the real business benefits for moving an application to the cloud.

One Channel CEO Bernard Ford says companies that have already migrated the majority of their business systems to the cloud save on average more than 20 percent in IT spending as a percentage of revenue and the benefits of Cloud will continue to increase.

According to a new report from Gartner, public cloud-services technology revenues are projected to grow by more than 50 percent worldwide in the next three years, to about $355-billion in 2022.

It predicts that the global public cloud services market is set to reach $266.4 billion, representing a growth of 17%, up from $227.8-billion in 2019. Software as a service (SaaS) will remain the largest market segment, which is forecast to grow to $116-billion next year due to the scalability of subscription-based software.

The second-largest market segment is cloud system infrastructure services, or infrastructure as a service (IaaS), which will reach $50-billion in 2020. IaaS is forecast to grow 24% year over year, which is the highest growth rate across all market segments.

Gartner says this growth is attributed to the demands of modern applications and workloads, which require infrastructure that traditional data centres cannot meet.

“Some people have a perception that the Cloud means a single Cloud. However, to really take advantage of the Cloud, you need to understand that there isn’t going to be just one Cloud, but many of them,” he explains.

As the world of Cloud evolves, it’s important to distinguish between siloed Cloud environments versus a multi-cloud approach. When people say they are moving all their business systems to the Cloud, they are essentially referring to the Internet where information will be accessible anytime, anywhere.

“However, with the concept of a multi-cloud world, it goes a step further. Although Cloud services all run on the Internet, they are often siloed. Cloud environments such as Microsoft Office 365, SalesForce and Zenefits provide critical services to businesses, but they don’t easily interact with one another,” he says.

This leaves companies trying to piece together various Cloud environments, and essentially creating a version of the former on-premises world, but in the Cloud. In the former on-premises world, businesses would purchase a range of applications and then be faced with getting them to talk to each other.

Integration was the misery of many an IT department’s existence, as was customisability and adaptability. While the Cloud could make it easier, organisations may still wind up in the same silos as before in the on-premises world.

Ford says one of the exciting things that happened early on in the Cloud computing era was that a set of open standards were defined. “These standards dictate the way pieces work for an individual application, but they also dictate how one application talks to another. This is what is known as cloud interoperability and is critical for businesses to not end up in a siloed Cloud environment.”

Choose the right platform for the future. Businesses that have moved their systems to the Cloud often use a wide range of applications. This is now starting to create real challenges with regards to scale, interoperability, cost-effectiveness, and integration.

For businesses that want to be strategic and mitigate these issues, one of these applications needs to be selected to be at the centre of this multi-cloud world. It would make sense to anchor this in one that’s the most critical for business namely ERP.

“You might call this a tiny bit self-serving, but I would offer up that an ERP system truly is the system of record for a business. If other systems stop or break, the business can generally move on. If the ERP system breaks, you can’t order or ship products or bill your customers. Things stop so thinking about your ERP Cloud strategy as the centre point of this multi-cloud hub is something I would strongly recommend,” he adds.

Ford says companies that embrace the multi-cloud world are set up for success, they are light years ahead of their competitors, because they have chosen to centre their entire business around one main ERP platform that easily integrates into other Cloud environments.

The IT department doesn’t stress when the CIO recommends a new Cloud application that the ERP system must integrate into. The CFO has one less major headache to deal with, as the cost effectiveness of the ERP platform enables the business to put their money where it matters most.

“Finally, their customers are happy because they can count on a business that is always taking orders, shipping on time and making their buying experience the best in the industry, creating customer loyalty like never before,” he concludes.

www.onechannel.cloud

Organizations worldwide failing to adequately protect sensitive data in the cloud, Thales study

A new global study from Thales, with research from the Ponemon Institute, has exposed an increasing disparity between the rapid growth of data stored in the cloud and an organization’s approach to cloud security.

 Although nearly half (48%) of corporate data is stored in the cloud, only a third (32%) of organizations admit they employ a security-first approach to data storage in the cloud.

Surveying over 3,000 IT and IT security practitioners in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, the research found that only one in three (31%) organizations believe that protecting data in the cloud is their own responsibility.

Increased multi-cloud cloud use, but with risks

With the proliferation of cloud-based services, businesses and other organizations are increasingly dependent on cloud providers.

 In fact, nearly half (48%) of organizations have a multi-cloud strategy, with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and IBM being the top three. The study found that, on average, organizations use three different cloud service providers and over a quarter (28%) are using four or more.

Despite storing sensitive data in the cloud, nearly half (46%) surveyed revealed that storing consumer data in the cloud makes them more of a security risk. Over half (56%) also noted that it posed a compliance risk.

 In addition, organizations believe that cloud service providers bear the most responsibility for sensitive data in the cloud (35%), ahead of shared responsibility (33%) and themselves (31%). Even though businesses are pushing the responsibility to cloud providers, only 23% say security is a factor in selecting them.

“With businesses increasingly looking to use multiple cloud platforms and providers, it’s vital they understand what data is being stored and where,” said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. “Not knowing this information makes it essentially impossible to protect the most sensitive data –ultimately leaving these organizations at risk. We’d encourage all companies to take responsibility for understanding where their data sits to ensure it’s safe and secure.”

Encryption increasing, but organizations handing over keys to cloud providers

Roughly half (51%) of businesses and other organizations still do not use encryption or tokenization to protect sensitive data in the cloud. The study uncovered regional disparities in terms of data security, with German organizations being the most advanced in their use of encryption at 66%.

Organizations are handing over the keys to their encrypted data to cloud providers. Nearly half of cloud companies (44%) provide the encryption keys when data is encrypted in the cloud, ahead of in-house teams (36%) and third parties (19%).

On top of this, 53% are controlling these encryption keys themselves, despite 78% saying it’s important their organization retains control of the keys.

Over half of businesses (54%) think cloud storage makes it more difficult to protect sensitive data, up from 49% last year. More than 70% believe that data in a cloud environment is harder to protect due to the complexity of managing privacy and data protection regulations, while an additional two-thirds (67%) cited the difficulty of applying conventional security methods in the cloud.

“This study shows that businesses today are taking advantage of the opportunities that new cloud options offer, but aren’t adequately addressing data security,” said Tina Stewart, vice president of market strategy for cloud protection and licensing activity at Thales. “Having pushed the responsibility towards cloud providers, it is surprising to see that security is not a primary factor during the selection process. It doesn’t matter what model or provider you choose, the security of your business’ data in the cloud has to be your responsibility. Your organization’s reputation is on the line when a data breach occurs, so it is critical to ensure in-house teams keep a close eye on your security posture and always retain control of encryption keys.”

www.thalesgroup.com

[South Africa] Poor data management costs companies millions each year

Companies are failing to meet user demand for uninterrupted access to applications and data and it is costing them millions each year. They are now looking to embrace Cloud Data Management to better meet protection needs and leverage the power of their data, this is according to the 2019 Veeam Cloud Data Management Report.

The Report surveyed more than 1500 senior business and IT leaders from 13 countries and found that respondents are aware of the importance of data management to their business’ success, pointing to greater productivity today, and the potential to drive business transformation in the future.

The amount of data generated has exploded over the past decade; data growth and sprawl is so rampant that by 2025 more than 175 Zettabytes of data will be generated each year, up almost 75% from 2018.

Troye managing director Helen Kruger says companies need to manage and protect this data, no matter where it resides. “The latest industry survey from Veeam Software, the leader in Backup solutions that enable Cloud Data Management, states that 73% of organisations admit to not being able to meet users’ demands for uninterrupted access to data and services.”

“This highlights the devastating impact downtime can have on lost revenue, productivity and customer confidence. However, the study shows that business leaders are acting to combat this, with nearly 72% looking to embrace Cloud Data Management, often by exploiting hybrid cloud capabilities, to ensure success and drive more value from their data,” she explains.

Businesses are looking to embrace the power of technologies such as the cloud, or hybrid cloud, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) to drive business success and will invest heavily on such transformational technologies.

Almost half of respondents admit that data protection is imperative to leverage these investments. Alarmingly, only 37% of businesses are very confident in their current backup solutions, with the majority (73%) admitting that they cannot meet user demands.

This inhibits the adoption of tools and processes that can drive business advantage, but leaders recognise work needs to be done; more than half of those surveyed are looking to deploy Intelligent Data Management and multi-cloud solutions across the business to address this failing.

“In this data-driven age, businesses need to wake up and take action to protect their data. They need to manage their data in a way that always delivers availability and leverage its value to drive performance. This is no longer a luxury, but a business necessity,” she stresses.

There are massive benefits to be gained from the deployment of digital initiatives. However, there is a global disparity in digital adoption. Some of the world’s largest economies are at risk of having to play catch-up when it comes to their investment in digital innovation.

Kruger says there is a significant opportunity and competitive advantage for those who effectively manage their data. “Business leaders need to determine whether their business data will always be available and if they are unsure, it’s time to act. This study shows that many are not acting fast enough.”

Some of the world’s most advanced economies are at risk of being left behind when it comes to their digital adoption. It’s crucial that companies get the right digital foundation in place to intelligently manage their data and safeguard their future. To achieve this, businesses must be united internally, with IT and the business working collaboratively and addressing cultural and skills challenges.

The Report found that companies that are on a journey to become a more intelligent business, meaning they are leveraging technologies such as Cloud Data Management and AI to create a real-time view of the collective business and the ability to act intelligently on that insight.

Amongst the businesses on this journey, the study highlights four common components globally:

Cloud: Cloud Data Management is a key component of delivering Intelligent Data Management. It is evident that leaders are recognising the advantages of a multi-cloud and hybrid-based approach, citing cost, reliability, flexibility and data security of the cloud as their main reasons for choosing it.

About 75% of companies report using Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms and many are using the cloud for their backup and recovery services with 51% using Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) and 44% using disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS).

Capabilities: Companies must enhance their capabilities, to ensure employees can draw on data insights and use new technologies as they are deployed, with 9 out of 10 businesses viewing upskilling employees’ digital skills as vital to their digital success.

Culture: Creating a culture that is adaptable and receptive to new technologies so that people can evolve with the organization is essential, with more than two-thirds of respondents believing that company culture needs to become more open and accepting to digital technologies.

Confidence: Companies must create a sense of confidence in the business’ digital capabilities, built on a strong data foundation. Presently, only a quarter of respondents report total confidence in their capability to meet their digital challenges.

What is clear from the 2019 Veeam Cloud Data Management Report is that the time for action is now. This starts with a strong digital foundation, which ensures that data is backed up and always available.

“With this in place, businesses can confidently deploy new digital initiatives, leveraging the business value and competitive advantage for today and in to the future, and harness the potential of Cloud Data Management,” she concludes.

www.troye.co.za

[Column] Trent Odgers: Maximizing data availability using a multi-cloud approach

The ways businesses leverage cloud to manage and maximize the value of their data continues to evolve.

Following the launch of two multi-national data centers in South Africa recently, the years when adopting cloud-based solutions felt like the first step into some brave new world are well and truly behind us.

However, this is ushering a new era of multi-cloud deployment – one which is attracting attention, questions, and scepticism from local businesses.

A hybrid cloud is an amalgamation of on-premises “private cloud”, public cloud and managed Cloud Service Provider (CSPs) environments into a single entity where the data is physically located in multiple datacenters to deliver the right fit for a specific workload. It is a nod towards the fact that businesses are increasingly using different clouds for different purposes. 

In today’s digital economy, 81% of enterprises are embracing a multi-cloud strategy and South African businesses have already adopted this digital gold rush with many more who are planning to do so. 

It is common for the IT industry to promote the idea of a one-stop-shop or single provider strategy – to avoid the perceived inefficiency and confusion of dealing with multiple vendors. 
This is the “traditional way” of doing IT, which had its place, but with the speed at which the world is changing, businesses can truly deliver on IT’s requirements using the hybrid approach. 

Data is now described as the new oil of the digital economy, and it has become a company’s most valuable resource. As businesses demand an infrastructure which maximises the potential value of that data, IT departments are under pressure to deliver.

For example, a business may wish to store data from its business unit in Google Cloud for scalability at relatively low expense but use Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its R&D databases to enjoy the benefits of AI and voice-assisted search.

And in the same instance, that business could be using Microsoft Azure to help drive its productivity solutions or mission-critical enterprise resource planning processes, while keeping a copy of all the data on-premises or hosted at a local cloud provider. 

Previously, the only viable decision for the business would have been to make a judgment call based on its priority needs and budget constraints. Today, the best strategic option is to adopt a multi-cloud approach.

Data-driven transformation

Already, there is a movement for organisations to become more data-driven. Decision-makers are recognising the importance of data in both high-level business strategy as well as on the operational side of their business. 

Furthermore, consumers and employees are beginning to appreciate the true value of their data, which means businesses must ensure that the people who share data with them see the value in doing so through receiving more personalised experiences.

People want to know that their data is protected, secure and also want greater transparency about what it is being used for.

Of course, in South Africa, this is where it is critical to adhere to corporate governance requirements, especially the likes of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).

 Fortunately, with local multi-national data centres, aspects such as data sovereignty and speed of accessing data are no longer concerns.

But creating this data-driven culture is underpinned by continuous digital transformation – embracing the latest and greatest technologies which allow the business to repeatedly lift its performance levels. 

According to Gartner’s 2018 CIO Agenda report, making progress towards becoming a digital business is a top priority for CIOs – and the proliferation towards multi-cloud reflects this trend.

Despite this, the latest Veeam Cloud Data Management Report reveals that more than one in ten decision-makers said their organisation has experienced over 10 unplanned outages in the last 12 months, with 65 minutes being the average length of time unplanned outages last. 

Successful multi-cloud deployments depend on the always-on availability of all apps and data. So, businesses looking to take advantage of multi-cloud environments must ensure that their apps and data are always available – and that their culture of data-driven decision-making is fully supported to maintain customer confidence and brand reputation.

Availability in the multi-cloud

The complexity of maintaining availability within a multi-cloud environment is the reliance on multiple Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). While all major vendors and CSPs will make backup and disaster recovery (DR) solutions available to their customers, each provider has different protocols, shared responsibility models, service level agreements (SLAs) and capabilities. 

The last thing any business wants to hear when disaster strikes is that they are not adequately protected or that recovery has failed.

While no business, regardless of whether it is using multi-cloud or not, can guarantee that it will never experience unplanned downtime, every business can ensure that it is prepared for this possibility.

Even having local data centres is no guarantee that there will never be any downtime. South African businesses opting for multi-cloud need to ensure that they have an availability solution which sits across their entire cloud platform, making cloud data protection easy with a seamless process for sending data offsite to the cloud.

For businesses using multi-cloud to power their digital transformation in the bid to establish a more data-driven culture across the organisation, data is akin to running water – a utility which all rely on and must be available at all times. 

Businesses embracing multi-cloud should not be put off by the prospect of working with multiple vendors as software-based platforms can give the peace of mind and a turnkey solution to minimising downtime.

Trent Odgersis Cloud and Hosting Manager for Africa at Veeam

Johannesburg Stock Exchange starts offering historical tick data in the cloud

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), Africa’s largest, multi-asset class stock exchange, now offers historical equity; equity derivatives and currency derivatives tick data in the cloud, meaning that clients, data vendors, investors and traders will now be able to access historical data more swiftly.

The JSE has partnered with CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, to house its first cloud solution offering.

The move modernises the JSE’s market data offering and strengthens the exchanges position as a global market player.  

The historical tick data will enable clients, traders and investors to assess trading opportunities, strengthen their market insights and improve risk mitigation intelligence based on both the market and various individual stocks’ past performance, support compliance reporting with more extensive data and conduct other valuable trading-related analyses.

“Traders, investors and our clients require tick data all the time in order to make informed decisions and we are pleased to offer them swifter access to information that can enable them to make these decisions.  As the JSE we constantly aim to provide our clients with the right solutions to meet their needs,” says Mark Randall, Director of Information Services at the JSE. 

www.jse.co.za

[Column] Hans van Linschoten: Data sovereignty in Africa, why you should care

African businesses are currently making massive investments in things like machine learning and artificial intelligence tools and are using cloud and virtualized infrastructure to enhance service delivery.

Talking with industry leaders and experts across the continent, one thing is clear, they’re making these investments because they want to adopt the flexibility and benefits of the cloud.

The cloud services sector in Africa might be in its early stages of development, but the impact is already far-reaching. Large firms are using compute capabilities and AWS database to transform how they reach a predominantly mobile and digital customer base. A number of African cloud-native startups are also leveraging the cloud to disrupt the entire industry.

There is significant potential in the growing African cloud market where an estimated $2 billion is being spent in cloud this year. This, together with all cloud related businesses happening in Africa, tells you how much businesses can benefit from cloud.

Even as this happens, there’s one concern that cannot be ignored when it comes to matters of cloud; the physical location of data centers. This is because data sovereignty is a crucial factor in many countries.

Data sovereignty is the concept that digital data is subject to the laws of the country in which it is processed. Data stored in Uganda for example falls under Uganda’s privacy laws (The Data Protection and Privacy Act, 2019), as well as data that flows within its borders.

With the increase in Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud storage services in recent years, their use often entails cross-border data transfers, which can result in major compliance challenges for users and even the providers. Once your data travels outside of a country’s borders it becomes subject to the law(s) of the land in which it is stored.

The main concern associated with data sovereignty is maintaining privacy regulations and keeping foreign countries from being able to sub open data. This here is the very reason why African businesses need to care.

This can be a complex legal issue that has the capacity to affect organizations worldwide.  For example, we can have a Kenyan cloud service provider that has its main office including accounting, sales and marketing and even operations in Uganda while their customer service call center is in Germany. This implication here is that certain personal information about accounts must be sent to Germany in order for them to contact clients and provide support. If Germany’s Privacy Principles (APP) stipulate that the cloud provider must disclose what information is being sent out of Germany, then there’s the potential for an organization’s personal data to be sub opened by a foreign government. In some countries like Indonesia, regulators stipulate that financial data cannot be stored outside the country without approval. 

There are clear regulations which we cannot run away from and need to be observed. Most established organizations I engage with that are actively embracing cloud, care deeply about where their data resides. Some African banks already have regulations requiring financial data to be stored in their countries and this is a good starting point.

Bottom line, having data in the cloud offers many benefits; it allows for easier flow of information and for safe and easy remote backup of files and data and in many cases, saves cost.

African developers and organizations should see this as an opportunity to tap into local cloud solutions to ensure data sovereignty is observed.  The more data sovereignty we have in Africa, the better protected Africans are by African privacy laws and the less reliance there is on internet infrastructure from outside.

Hans van Linschoten is the founding partner of Imprimatur Capital Africa and CEO of afriQloud

www.afriqloud.com

Also read: 

Launch afriQloud: Leapfrogging Africa’s innovation agenda with local cloud solutions