The cloud is omnipresent. But what can companies expect from increased use of the cloud and what does the market have to offer? How can security issues be solved? Roger Süess answers these questions and more in our interview.
Why are you so fervently recommending companies to switch to the cloud at this particular moment in time?
Now is the time to systematically launch transformation projects, as outdated, complexly intertwined IT environments are a real millstone. The current crisis has also demonstrated this quite clearly. Companies that are already agile and have undergone significant digitalization are in a much better position than those with conventional IT. However, the strategy should now be implemented more widely and replace the traditional IT infrastructure, i.e. data centers and in-house IT systems, as well as applications.
Does this also apply to small-scale companies?
In the cloud, the same rules are valid for everyone, irrespective of how large or small a business is. Small-scale companies in particular can benefit greatly from clever architecture. For example, consider small start-ups that, thanks to the cloud, can quickly integrate new technologies and challenge established companies with their new business models. This would be inconceivable without the cloud.
Which cloud models are we talking about specifically?
A private cloud, such as that provided by our Swiss Cube, is one of these models. It is particularly suitable for running applications continuously. The data transfer is inclusive, making it an attractive option. In contrast, the public clouds of the major international providers are very good at coping with peak loads and are an appropriate choice for development platforms, including for launching new technologies. Generally speaking, in the future companies will combine various models and also use clouds from a variety of providers.
The ideal approach seems to be a hybrid cloud. It is seen as the perfect combination of a public and a private cloud. What are the advantages of the hybrid cloud solution?
Not every company is able to discard all its structures in one go and relocate to a public cloud. A lot of businesses are obliged to comply with regulatory stipulations. Furthermore, not every application is suitable for the public cloud. However, if I use a private cloud as well, I can create the data location and conform to the regulatory stipulations very effectively.
In the future, companies will use several cloud providers simultaneously. How can these extremely complex multicloud architectures be organized expediently?
The market has made significant progress during the past year. A lot of solutions for organizing containers are up and ready. This includes OpenShift, Anthos, Azure Arc and AWS Outpost, all of which we support.
What obstacles stand in the way of companies embarking on this journey?
Dialog with customers has shown that customer acceptance is on the increase. The greatest points of concern are related to cyber security and data access. Also, customers are often bound to systems or data centers and have legacy systems that cannot be replaced expediently. We therefore help the customer to develop an efficient solution step by step. As we cover the entire journey to the cloud, we offer assistance starting right from architecture-related issues. We then design the appropriate solution, taking into account legacy systems and stipulations related to security and data location.
What security measures do you implement as an operator?
We invest in technical protection measures and in processes, as well as in our staff who undergo regular training. We also carry out audits in all three areas. Important factors are always keeping track of all the tools used, keeping an eye on data classification and correctly implementing the solutions offered by the cloud providers. This is also what we advise our customers to do and we support them during this process.
What have the latest customer projects in the cloud environment involved?
In the last six months, we have mainly carried out projects with partners from our cloud ecosystem. This included solutions for the commerce, government, media and legal sectors. What defines all these projects is that we were able to provide lean and extremely high-performance applications thanks to container-based solutions, all of which run in our data centers. This has inspired us to set up our own private cloud solution that customers can purchase as a service.
What specifically does this private cloud offer?
With the Swiss Cube, we provide dedicated hardware in our data center that is solely for the use of the customer, including virtualization. The service is fully-managed and does not require any initial investment on the part of the customer. We have therefore successfully been able to create a flexible cloud while ensuring the highest possible level of individual security. The Swiss Cube is now available to all customers as a service.