We’ve moved beyond the idea of “a” cloud or “the” cloud and into multicloud in the hyper-connected enterprise era. In addition to off-the-shelf business applications, whether for ERP, CRM, or RTC, enterprises are now developing their own custom applications. Furthermore, as IoT and IIoT start to pervade enterprises as more intelligently connected things help businesses run more efficiently, that means more apps, and more clouds, plural.
Where applications are prototyped, developed, tested, and scaled depends on how internal or external those applications are, how secure they must be with how many layers of authentication, how regulated they may be, and how rich in multimedia they need to operate as more and more live video is coming online, for marketing, training, and live collaboration.
There is no “one cloud fits all” and with the growth of “everything as a service,” enterprises are licensing applications hosted on other people’s clouds, some public, some private, and increasingly some form of hybrid.
Today, the average enterprise runs hundreds or even thousands of these applications and microservices, and they all “need network” and up and coming “micronets”. Whether internally-facing for employees or externally facing for customers, partners, suppliers, increasingly these applications are running in public cloud environments including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform and as demand continues to increase, so does competition. The economics are fascinating, with a great deal being written about the true cost of multicloud – but what about the true cost of network connecting those clouds? How private do those networks need to be, how performant, how secure, and what are the options?
While the public cloud offers numerous advantages including scale and cost, it also makes it easier for lines of business to build and deploy applications without involvement from IT security. There is now a sizeable number of “shadow” applications developed internally that IT security is not aware of, or involved in securing.
On top of the pressures associated with managing the increasing clouds around them, IT teams are also being hit from the side by shadow applications, that may be more pandemic than we thought. In a report published by the Cloud Security Alliance and sponsored by Skyhigh:
- The average enterprise has 464 custom applications deployed and IT security professionals are only aware of 38.4% of these applications
- The number of custom applications is expected to grow 20.5% in the next 12 months as more applications are developed and deployed
- 20.7% of custom applications currently deployed in the datacenter will move to the public cloud in the next 12 months
- Taken together, a majority of custom applications (60.9%) are in the datacenter today, but this will decline to 46.2% in the next 12 months as public cloud adoption grows
- 72.7% of companies have business-critical custom applications (i.e. downtime would impact operations) and 46.1% of those are in the public cloud or hybrid cloud today
- If business-critical data is destroyed in an attack on a custom app, 50.3% say the IT security manager will be fired, followed by 31.5% for operations, and 29.1% for the CIO
Why This Matters
Security is already being compromised whether applications are being prototyped or made more generally available.
The report also goes on to say these applications are increasingly deployed in the public cloud; 46.1% are either fully deployed in the public cloud or in a hybrid public/private cloud and IT security professionals have incomplete visibility into their deployment and operations.
Stay Ahead of the Storm with Multicloud Connect
While there are many issues to wrestle to the ground to find the “new normal” for thousands of enterprises growing their developer activities in house – and their DevOps teams to support those activities – in coordination with IT – there are new ways now to manage cloud environments which is what led NetFoundry to invent one of our solutions, Multicloud Connect, which is helping enterprises improve service, manage multiple clouds and multiapplication environments more efficiently, and reduce the costs associated with inflexible and expensive enterprise network interconnections such as MPLS, carrier Ethernet, and Internet VPN. Private NetFoundry Networks provide rigorous military grade security and performance across the public Internet, independent of the diverse clouds and other endpoints that they connect.
The NetFoundry Platform enables instant creation of edge-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud connection solutions across the Internet using any Internet access provider, increasing business velocity while eliminating the costs of expanding private networks and infrastructure to each cloud.
If you’re interested in learning more about NetFoundry and our Multicloud Connect offering at IBM InterConnect this week, contact us to find a time. We’ll be there speaking about more than this solution, as we continue to expand our AppWAN offerings.
Note on the CSA and Skyhigh Networks Report: The collaboration involved developing a pool of questions distributed to qualifying candidates between December 2016 and January 2017. CSA and Skyhigh Network analysts further studied, consolidated, and authored the report based on a survey of 314 qualified respondents. Qualified responses included software development, IT administration, IT security, operations, and devops professionals involved in developing, deploying, and securing custom applications employed by enterprises from all major industries including business services, education, entertainment/media, financial services, government, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, technology, telecommunications, transportation, and utilities. Respondents were based in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia Pacific. You can download the report here.