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Multi-cloud is the future

F5 Networks has unveiled the first Future of Multi-Cloud (FOMC) report focused on Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), highlighting trends that will change the market  over the next five years.

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The F5 commissioned report was conducted by the Foresight Factory, which drew on its proprietary bank of over 100 trends and original research across 25 regional markets. It also features exclusive qualitative interview input from influential global cloud experts specialising in entrepreneurialism, cloud architecture, business strategy, industry analysis, and relevant technological consultancy.

“The Future of Multi-Cloud report is a unique vision for how organisations can successfully navigate an increasingly intricate, cloud-centric world. The stakes are higher than ever, and businesses that ignore the power of the multi-cloud today will significantly struggle in the next five years,” said Vincent Lavergne, RVP, Systems Engineering, F5 Networks.

The FOMC report comes at a time of significant cloud excitability.

According to the figures cited in the study, 81% of global enterprises claim to have a multi-cloud strategy in place. Meanwhile, the Cisco Global Cloud Index estimates that 94% of workloads and compute instances will be processed by cloud data centres by 2021. Video streaming and social networking are major contributors to the ongoing rise; Netflix users alone consumed more than one billion hours of video content per week in 2017.

The FOMC report is divided into five sections:

A new era of business innovation

While some FOMC experts disagree on certain aspects of cloud development, the consensus is that those delaying multi-cloud adoption will become increasingly irrelevant.

In the coming years, the FOMC report believes that upfront costs will become less important as cloud vendors continue to demonstrate compelling use cases. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will be fundamental to driving higher levels of automation and render existing obstructions to multi-cloud obsolete.

“The multi-cloud is a game-changer for both business and consumers. It will pave the way for unprecedented innovation, bringing cloud architects, DevOps, NetOps and SecOps together to pioneer transformational services traditional infrastructures simply cannot deliver. The outlook for the next five years is bright and full of potential,” said Josh McBain, Director of Consultancy, Foresight Factory.

Driving unprecedent agility, efficiency, and cost savings

Corporate cloud literacy is becoming an operational prerequisite as technological progress accelerates in EMEA. With a multi-cloud strategy, enterprises can assign workloads to public clouds that are best suited for specific tasks, including speed, agility and security. If harnessed with intelligence and foresight, the expansive opportunities afforded by the multi-cloud will benefit bottom lines and earn customer trust through service excellence.

“The whole process of digitalisation demands that you have the ability to seamlessly move between different forms of cloud, whether it is on-premises or off-premises or in the private or public cloud,” said Arthur Goldstuck, a FOMC expert and Managing Director at World Wide Worx.

Plugging the skills gap

The FOMC report reveals how available workforces are still trailing technological developments and business requirements. Siloing of existing knowledge or lack of collaboration within businesses may further exacerbate multi-cloud apprehension and unfamiliarity.

“The need for technologically appropriate, value-adding expertise is reaching fever pitch,” said McBain.

“The FOMC report is very much a rallying call for business leaders to tap into the kaleidoscopic potential of youth and promote industry diversity. It also calls on the IT industry to better promote the use of smart, context-driven and automated solutions that can spark attractive new career opportunities, as well as free up existing workforces for more strategic and rewarding work.”

Safeguarding the future and building trust

Today’s attack surfaces are expanding at a staggering pace, with both cybercriminals and their tools becoming increasingly sophisticated and destructive. Concurrently, the spread of multi-cloud architectures, if inadequately managed, is resulting in application sprawls and soaring security complexity.

Against this backdrop, the FOMC report emphasises the importance of being able to quickly develop and deploy scalable applications and services on any platform, anywhere and at any time. Implementing a robust, future-proofed ecosystem of integrated security and cloud solutions helps build end-to-end IT services that give key stakeholders greater context, control, and visibility into the threat landscape.

Coping with compliance

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the most comprehensive and far-reaching piece of legislation of its kind. However, the FOMC report concludes it is not enough in the long term, and that a global standard for data protection is required within five years.

The intricacies of regulating a borderless digital world is one the biggest challenges facing governments worldwide. Swift collaborative action between business and government is needed. Meanwhile, businesses need to stay compliant with existing legislation, which is further complicated by cloud computing’s growing influence.

“Eventually, today’s tech-conscious consumers and customers will only want to be associated with the most trustworthy data handlers. There is now a big opportunity to differentiate with best practice and service delivery, particularly in the context multi-cloud’s potential,” said McBain.

Infrastructure variables can also impact on multi-cloud uptake, including the availability of data centres and bandwidth reliability. For example, the FOMC report found that Middle Eastern and African business tend to have different multi-cloud configurations than most Western markets.

“Every country has got very specific dynamics around the embrace of cloud. The phrase that we use is ‘cloud is not a country’. The benefits are experienced very differently by different markets,” Goldstuck explained.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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MWC: Next generation of inflight connectivity to be unveiled

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Next week at Mobile World Congress, the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal progress on its mission towards enabling the next generation of inflight connectivity. This follows a significant start for the Alliance, which has seen membership increase five-fold since the first meeting in June of last year. The Alliance has a new research laboratory setup and continues progress through its three working groups, writing specifications for the technology, requirements, and operations.

These developments represent a huge leap towards the goal of making connectivity as easy and enjoyable in the skies as it is on the ground. Appearing as part of the Airbus stand (Hall 6, stand 6G34), the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal specification topics that have been completed and published to its membership.

“The passenger experience with inflight connectivity remains one of the great technology challenges. From Day One we have been determined to deliver on our mission to bring industries and technologies together to make the inflight internet experience simple to access and a delight to use,” said the Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer, Jack Mandala.

“I have been tremendously encouraged by the enthusiastic and committed response we have seen and the widening areas of expertise we can call upon as more and more companies and organisations continue to join us,” he added.

Announced during MWC 2018, the Seamless Air Alliance has since grown to twenty-three membercompanies with more than one-hundred key personnel from across the membership participating in its three working groups, with numbers continuing to increase.

The Seamless Air Alliance was created by founding members Airbus, Airtel, Delta Air Lines, OneWeb and Sprint, and quickly joined by Air France KLM, Aeromexico, and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and global technology leaders including Astronics, Collins Aerospace, Comtech, Cyient, iDirect, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Latecoere, Nokia, and Panasonic. 

Today, the Alliance is pleased to announce five additional new members: Adaptive Channel, Etihad Airways, GlobalReach Technology, Safran, and SITAONAIR.

“We are extremely pleased to have these companies join and be a part of the companies driving the next generation of connectivity.” said Mr Mandala.

The Seamless Air Alliance will enable travelers boarding any flight, on any airline, anywhere in the world, to use their own devices to automatically connect to the Internet with no complicated login process nor paywall to scramble over.

The Alliance is also announcing the release of a new research study on the economic benefit of standardization on the inflight connectivity market at Mobile World Congress. This report is available for download at https://www.seamlessalliance.com/publications/

The Alliance is moving rapidly towards an expected demonstration of the technology later in 2019 and anticipates massive interest in Barcelona from the whole communications eco-system.

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