4 things to consider when using mission critical apps in a public cloud
As confidence in cloud technology grows, the distrust from organisations is fading, but there are still a number of issues to address before companies confidently run mission-critical applications in a public cloud environment.
“While private or hybrid cloud environments often present the most palatable cloud option for mission-critical apps due to the level of control IT teams can maintain over infrastructure, public cloud has a lot to offer,” said Stuart Mills, regional director at CenturyLink ANZ. “The flexibility of public cloud, for example, gives companies the ability to freely scale as business needs change.
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“Questions of security and reliability around public cloud deployments of mission-critical applications are well-founded. The potential for service outages still exists, although the risk is diminishing. Security and compliance issues are also reasonable concerns, even though they can be alleviated with the right approach and a bit of forethought.”
Four considerations will help companies successfully run mission-critical applications in a public cloud:
Security is rightly one of the top concerns for businesses running mission-critical apps in a public cloud environment. It is essential that the organisation’s public cloud provider is provisioned with proper security policies to meet specific compliance requirements.
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Regulatory compliance is a core element in information management. If companies are found to be non-compliant, they can be subject to hefty fines, not to mention the data breach risks. Cloud providers need to have the right controls in place to ensure mission-critical information is managed properly.
In some public cloud scenarios, the burden of availability is placed on the customer, meaning the company may need to redesign applications to be resilient on the cloud platform. To avoid this responsibility, the public cloud provider’s platform should ensure high availability with tools such as automated replication and monitoring.
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When an application is moved to a cloud environment, it often requires manual network configuration changes, which can introduce errors. A public cloud platform that gives IT teams the ability to configure their network topology as they would in their own data centre can alleviate this burden.
Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek
Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.
Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.
Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.
Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.
As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.
It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.
But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.
As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.
So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.