There’s nothing new about organizations moving their businesses into the cloud. But, as we know, it’s not a quick fix—although Accenture decided to adopt a cloud first approach six years ago, we’re still finding new ways to refine and enhance our cloud journey. Yet, there’s little doubt that the wholesale move to remote working, coupled with the need to scale services efficiently using new technologies, has put the spotlight on cloud take up—and how to get the most out of cloud.

People walking in a corridor

Our latest case study shares the story of the Accenture journey—and how we’re now running in the cloud. We made the big shift from an on-premise infrastructure, where we had complete control, to collaborating in the cloud with vendors and needing to rely on their technology and environment. And we had to face the fact that infrastructure and new service capabilities in the cloud are different; we couldn’t simply replicate what we had on-premise directly into the cloud.

Cultivating cloud natives requires a change in culture. But perhaps one of the most difficult sticking points to make progress in the cloud is security. Recent Accenture research shows that security and compliance risk is seen as one of top two pain points of cloud adoption. What we’ve discovered is that by reimagining the approach to our security model, we’ve been able to grow our capabilities and cloud native solutions.

How? Well, we adopted a shared responsibility model with our cloud vendors so that we could take advantage of their experience in the market, their wide security certifications—and the fact that they value security as much as we do.

We actively sought out existing cloud-based solutions and made sure we were fully compliant. And we took a multi-layered approach that baked in trust—being identity-centric means we’ve adopted a zero trust strategy where we embed proper and continuous identity validation.

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Reinvent cloud security as you know it

Here are some of the lessons we’ve learned around effective cloud security:

  • Design in terms of the cloud: A cloud journey requires a very different operating model to any on-premises solution. Reimagine your security principles to unlock the power of security in the cloud and transform your business.
  • Make the cultural shift: Bridge the cultural gap to cloud native services from the top down. Education and training can help to change mindsets so that people understand the benefits of cloud and why your security posture is important.
  • Promote partnership: It’s important to build trusted relationships with your providers and to look at the ownership of security as shared. Also, keep in mind that the investments in security made by the major cloud providers are far in excess of what’s feasible for most IT organizations—offering an advantage to those who collaborate more effectively.

We have some exciting developments on the horizon. As our AI and machine learning capabilities grow, we’ll be able to detect anomalies in behavior and make rapid decisions to act on security threats in the cloud. Having a more highly automated response is a powerful proposition and could reinvent cloud security as we all know it.

Reframing our security in terms of cloud capabilities has helped us to see how our cloud solutions can support what we need within the business. Our strategy, to be secure from the start, is helping to make that happen.

Don Galzarano

Managing Director – Global IT, Enterprise Technology, Intelligent Cloud & Networks

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