Businesses today need access to the digital ecosystems of their partners, suppliers, and customers to succeed.

Research conducted by Gartner for its 2017 CIO agenda showed that the main difference between top performing companies was their creation of, and participation in, digital ecosystems.

One need only look at some of the most valuable listed companies in the world to see the importance of ecosystems: from social media giants and mobile phone app stores; to enterprise productivity suites such as Microsoft’s Office365.

To enable collaboration, organisations need to open up access to their systems and platforms. Doing so can create risks for both partners.

Consider for example a retail bank that wants to partner with a fast-growing start up that provides innovative new ways for customers to manage their money. The startup needs access to customer information but the bank needs to ensure that it retains control of that data to comply with regulations.

It is not surprising then that security, compliance and governance are top concerns for businesses. According to the 2017 Telstra Cyber Security whitepaper, around 58 percent of organisations in Australia have detected a security breach on at least a monthly basis which is more than twice as often compared to 2016 (24%).

Telstra's Hybrid Cloud

Overly complex security processes can lead to different business units self-sourcing ungoverned and non-compliant services to make their jobs easier. Management of multiple clouds, each with their own security protocols and capabilities, becomes a resource-draining but necessary task. The business risk of ignoring these issues should not be underestimated.

The solution lies in putting in place:

  • the appropriate policies,
  • having visibility of application use and access, and
  • using tools to enforce the policies with minimum resources required from the organisation’s IT team.

More and more organisations are sourcing support from cloud experts in the form of a managed service, or leveraging intuitive cloud management platforms to increase security and productivity in multiple environments.

Managed services and cloud management platforms take care of governance and compliance (including essential security activities) and reduces the burden of day-to-day management.

The best managed cloud solution providers:

  • will hold certifications, and
  • have a strong automation element designed to simplify common tasks and ensure compliance scales as easily and quickly as the cloud does.

These options empower organisations with the flexibility to work with partners inside and outside of their organisation, with the assurance that access is secure, visible and easily managed.

For more information on how Telstra is helping organisations get the most from hybrid cloud, read our blueprint for best practice.