Go cloud-smart, not cloud-first


Making the transition simple with Maxis

Cloud computing turns IT infrastructure into a utility by plugging you into the Internet and using computing resources without installing or maintaining them on-premise.Cloud computing turns IT infrastructure into a utility by plugging you into the Internet and using computing resources without installing or maintaining them on-premise.

Covid-19, for its past two years, has undoubtedly forced even the most unexpected industries to adapt - with last year being harder hitting for those who could not keep up with the movement control orders (MCOs) and workforce restrictions making remote working the life jacket, keeping operations afloat.

Budget 2022 has proven that even our government is starting to get serious with pushing operations on the cloud with the Digital First Programme.

There are a number of different migration approaches a company can adopt with different models that are public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and multi-cloud. It sounds deceptively simple to move all your company’s operations to the cloud.

But where would you store all that sensitive information? And what kind of online security fail-safes would you need in case of a cyberattack?

The importance of being cloud-earnest

Transitioning “cloud right” is just as important as just “cloud first” according to Maxis Business head of Cloud Products Amanda Lensing.

Starting off on the right foot with the proper cloud strategy can be the make-or-break businesses as they look to minimise costs and mitigate security risks. However, without the proper due diligence, too-eager business owners can end up investing in patchwork cloud solutions with quick-fixes that quickly become obsolete.

These band-aid solutions then become a financial burden and can lead to security risks in the transition to cloud services and can siphon anywhere from 30% to more than 50% of total IT spending, according to Lensing.

Since cloud computing is rather ambiguous for the uninitiated, there are still lingering myths that may discourage businesses from transitioning. Let’s take a closer look at a few of those.

Myth 1: Being cloud-first is the be-all-end-all

Maxis became the Amazon Web Services billing partner for SDISB and helped them to address the costly currency conversion rates and SDISB’s concerns on withholding tax.Maxis became the Amazon Web Services billing partner for SDISB and helped them to address the costly currency conversion rates and SDISB’s concerns on withholding tax.

As businesses aim to eliminate the problem of shadow IT, as mentioned by Lensing, businesses may race to adopt cloud computing without fully understanding the organisation’s future needs.

Entrepreneurs and businesses must also consider which model works best for their operations after all - be it a public, private or hybrid cloud.

When companies make the commitment to move to cloud, they often face pressure to move fast (or first), minimise costs, all while maximising business benefits. As a result, company leaders feel they must choose between a quicker and cheaper “lift and shift” transition strategy (to move fast and minimize costs) and a time-intensive and costly refactoring strategy (to capture business benefits).

Understanding the increasing need for access to and control of resources across organisations, Maxis takes a “Right Cloud” approach, and functions as an end-to-end cloud service provider for their partners.

Take Sime Darby Industrial Sdn Bhd (SDISB) for example. While SDISB adopted the cloud rather early in 2018 they faced challenges in their digitalisation journey.

SDISB had misconfigurations in their infrastructure that led to lag and down time, making SDISB’s e-commerce site in Malaysia poorly optimised. The site was facing scalability and security issues that caused periodic lags and downtime for its e-commerce customers while driving up costs for SDISB.

However, Maxis was able to provide end-to-end and personalised solutions to help SDISB improve their e-commerce site performance while reducing costs by configuring the Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) that simplified database administration and scaling.

SDISB Head of Digital Sales Ganeemathullah Bharudin noted that with Maxis’ level of technical expertise, they were able to better manage and improve their cloud infrastructure.

As the solutions were also able to eliminate withholding tax and currency conversion headaches as Maxis helped deal with Amazon directly, SDISB was instead able to focus on analytics, expanding and scaling up for integrations.

Revamping the e-commerce site was only one phase of a three-phase plan SDISB had to boost traffic and site functionality.

Myth 2: The cloud is not secure enough to store sensitive data

Maxis also set up cloud-native security groups at the subnet level and a network access control list (ACL) to provide network protection at both levels for BAC.Maxis also set up cloud-native security groups at the subnet level and a network access control list (ACL) to provide network protection at both levels for BAC.

Historically, the layman may have cited security of public cloud infrastructure as one of their top concerns and reason to avoid cloud adoption. In recent years, however, all major cloud service providers (CSPs) have made significant improvements in their security capabilities.

Nowadays, a CSP’s business model depends on best-in-class security, and they have developed an array of new tools and methods to make cloud secure. According to an article by McKinsey, this development is particularly important because public cloud breaches have almost all been driven by enterprise customers’ insecure configurations.

The key question then becomes not about whether cloud is more secure to begin with, but what measures do companies or businesses need to take to enhance their cloud security. This could be especially applicable to certain industries like education and healthcare.

In the local setting, Brickfields Asia College (BAC), a part of BAC Education Group in Malaysia, migrated to the cloud in early 2019.

Maxis Right Cloud was also able to help Brickfields Asia College (BAC) navigate the complexities of cloud adoption when it struggled to fully optimise its cloud infrastructure.

For BAC to better manage security risks, Maxis introduced AWS Web Application Firewall (AWS WAF) filters and set rules for what type of access is allowed to each page on the BAC sites which prevented external networks from accessing BAC’s internal network using Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) and AWS Virtual Private Network (AWS VPN) solutions.

Maxis’ cloud experts also identified BAC’s areas of focus and performed a cloud-to-cloud migration to Amazon Web Services (AWS). In a mere couple of months, BAC migrated 50 online learning and student management web and mobile applications to AWS, over half of which are managed by Maxis.

Myth 3: Cloud adoption is too complex and expensive for my business

It’s not necessary that only Fortune 500 companies can benefit from cloud computing. What’s important is that your cloud solution is tailored to your business’ needs.

Most small businesses are thinking about how to grow, not about what they’re going to do when there’s a crisis. Since there is already so much to worry about when you’re running a small business, planning for anything else beyond keeping the doors open can be an unnecessary obligation.

Cloud computing can give small businesses the flexibility and scalability to add tools as needed to keep up with the growth of a business. Migrating the business infrastructure into the cloud makes it easier to keep functioning in a crisis.

Besides that, transitioning to the cloud can unburden a company’s IT department, especially if you were to take advantage of a managed service provider to help with day-to-day tasks like network monitoring and support. This is especially a boon for small businesses that are more reactive to problems that arise.

Businesses can leverage on CSPs like Maxis to do the leg work for them. With the end-to-end service by Maxis businesses can avoid common pitfalls by utilising the professional services offered to design, build and optimise a cloud strategy that is future-proof.

Keeping it simple

According to information technology (IT) research and consultancy company, Gartner, building a cloud strategy requires key stakeholders to collectively consider these questions:

1. Where and how should an organisation consume cloud computing services?

2. How would you access, secure, manage, integrate and govern across hybrid environments?

3. Where will our business become a cloud computing service provider to others after transitioning?

What it all boils down to is having a cloud-right strategy that manages and scales to your business’ cloud needs, whether infrastructure or connectivity.

Having them all in one partner, that is Maxis, makes the digital transformation journey less daunting when your business has the right building blocks.

For more info on Maxis Right Cloud and how it can help you, check out the website.

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