February 04, 2016
Free your mind: With a public cloud-first attitude, you're not trading down on security
By: Chris Wegmann

When you were a kid, you may have had to enlist mom or dad to deal with the occasional “monster under the bed.” As grown-ups, most of us move on from irrational angst over fictional creatures.

Similar psychology is at play as we move further down the path toward wider acceptance and adoption of the public cloud as a catalyst for business transformation and a ticket to reaping full rewards from the as-a-Service economy.

One of the first steps is to firmly embrace a public cloud-first mindset. That means we must get our heads wrapped around what terms like “public” really means in the context of cloud-based IT infrastructure.

To be sure, cyber threats, unlike the monsters in children’s books, are very real. But just because your cloud is “public” doesn’t mean it isn’t secure. Your data and other assets can still be “ring-fenced” and protected.

At a certain level, we’re dealing with fundamental human emotions: fear, in this case. Fear of something new, fear of the unknown, fear of losing control. With the public cloud, some businesses fear losing control of data centers or being overly dependent on others.

But we believe security concerns over the public cloud are largely unfounded or overstated. Furthermore, you shouldn’t treat your public cloud provider as an outsider. Make them part of your core IT ecosystem. It’s not something “big and scary.”

Since the first computer was installed, your company's data was effectively held hostage by the computer and software manufacturer; just because it is in your building does not mean that it is secure or you're not dependent on a third party.

Public cloud is no different - we have just replaced the hardware and software companies we loved to hate with some of the same companies, or in some cases new companies, that we are not used to working with. The risk and exposure are the same.

We’re already seeing signs of a broader attitude shift. For example, there’s Talen Energy Supply, LLC, our new Accenture AWS Business Group client.

We’re helping Talen Energy Supply, a subsidiary of one of the top independent U.S. power producers, migrate and deploy various IT assets to a virtual private cloud on Amazon Web Services, a leader in public cloud. The company will establish an environment that’s virtual and private, and will be able to build that ring fence to meet requirements for security and hosting.

Talen Energy Supply selected Accenture to partner in the integration of an infrastructure-as-a-service model for business applications hosted in a virtual private cloud on Amazon Web Services.

In the words of Talen’s Chief Administrative Officer, James Schinski, the company seeks “rapid access” to a wide variety of services that can “flex with the changing needs of our business.” They also want to reduce operating expenses significantly while taking advantage of the continued improvements provided by Amazon.

We wholeheartedly agree with Talen’s aims and are thrilled at the opportunity to work with them. To us, this a strong statement about growing trust and comfort with the public cloud to support business transformation.

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