Conquering digital transformation with distributed cloud

In our digitalised world, applications play an essential role, delivering a company’s solutions and services to end users. But what happens when this medium is compromised? 

Forrester expects the application security market to grow to US$12.9 billion by 2025 as organisations look to protect their most critical assets. However, as the adoption of public cloud grows in tandem, led by the integration of multi-cloud and edge computing, companies will be hard-pressed to manage their complex digital infrastructure. 

A distributed cloud platform could help organisations resolve this problem, enabling them to overcome internal inconsistencies in controls across different environments, manage the security talent shortage, and remain compliant with regulatory red tapes.

Maintaining consistency while managing complex digital infrastructures

According to the upcoming F5 State of Application Strategy Report, 88% of organisations today operate both legacy and modern applications. Furthermore, F5 also found that 70% of all organisations are operating multi-cloud models.

These numbers suggest that most companies continue to maintain separate, discrete teams with different expertise as they manage varying environments within the organisation’s infrastructure. Unfortunately, this often leads to inconsistencies in security policies such as access control, allowing highly opportunistic and coordinated cybercriminals to exploit loopholes and access a company’s servers.

By converging the administration of all application environments, both legacy and modern, a distributed cloud model can streamline operational processes into a single, unified dashboard. With that, IT teams can consolidate the management of data centres, clouds, and edge locations through a single plane of control, while also deploying future applications across these environments seamlessly.

Maximising efficiencies through smarter team deployment

Organisations also face a talent shortage as they develop new applications, shorten go-to-market timelines, and launch applications in different environments. With developers often outnumbering security professionals, sometimes as many as 100 to one, bottlenecks often form at security testing stages. Furthermore, as DevOps teams double down on automation and the use of open-source tools, stretched security teams may fall back on poor testing and processing to keep things going.

To alleviate the workload on the limited pool of security professionals, enterprises can protect their modern application architectures by tapping on distributed cloud models with built-in web application and API protection platforms. This integrates critical features like web application firewalls, DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) and bot defence, and API security across all active environments, enabling security teams to focus on testing and bringing new applications to life.

Staying compliant while data processing becomes increasingly regulated

Even as businesses navigate securing their digital infrastructure and applications, they must stay acutely vigilant of increasingly strict data privacy laws in the markets they operate in. This is especially true as more organisations today process sensitive personal data in their day-to-day operations — including banks and financial institutions that draw on biometric data for identity verification, and telehealth providers, where health data is collected from wearables and IoT-connected medical devices.

The prevalence of these practices has led to not just more intense and detailed privacy laws but also data localisation policies — referring to laws mandating that data generated within a certain jurisdiction is stored and processed locally. Navigating data localisation and data residency requirements can be challenging and costly as organisations may have to build or purchase local data centres or cloud infrastructure to process data in markets they operate in.

Furthermore, the benefits of automated scaling up and down with cloud adoption could be rendered useless as they tend to conceal the geographical location of where data is eventually processed, making compliance impossible to determine.

A distributed cloud model thus enables organisations to effortlessly integrate edge computing locations into their overall digital infrastructure, allowing existing applications to be deployed at the edge and enabling data to be processed close to where it was generated and stored. This convenience is further extended as security teams continue to be able to access and manage these edge sites from their unified dashboard without running afoul of data regulations.

Enhancing digital strategies for greater performance

As cloud computing becomes commonplace in the digital age, organisations will have to relook their cloud strategies and approaches to harness its full potential. A distributed cloud model is a critical step forward in helping companies better deploy applications, derive greater value from their security teams, and future-proof themselves from upcoming data policies.