Cloud strategy guide for regulated industries part 1.
The stable and dynamically developing cloud services market sees more companies from regulated industries deciding to use the cloud as their digital strategy foundation.
Digital technologies have a profound impact on how we live and run businesses. The ongoing wave of innovation has the potential to remove many of the barriers and speed up the development of a better future for humanity. The challenge for companies is to keep pace with the speed of technological change: unlocking the benefits of digital technologies while minimizing the risks they present both now and in the future. Sometimes, compliance requires an organization to go beyond what might be considered reasonably necessary. Companies from many industries such as financial services, healthcare, and pharma need to be assured they can protect their assets and maintain compliance with industry and regulatory requirements. Cloud computing has become an essential part of the digital economy. 92 percent of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy; 82 percent have a hybrid cloud strategy based on the 2021 cloud computing usage trends report by Flexera.
It enables a variety of essential activities, empowers numerous applications, and has increasingly come to store and process more and more sensitive data. Around 50 percent of all corporate data is stored in the cloud as of 2021.
Market leaders such as Merck, Roche, and Pfizer have leaped into the cloud in the last few years. That inspired other companies from regulated industries, and they started to follow more prominent corporations and migrate into the cloud.
It’s fair to say it wasn’t a simple process. For a long time, imposed compliance obligations were a severe obstacle. Fortunately, this is a problem of the past. Organizations should know that compliance is not a cloud roadblock. Instead, their resistance to cloud adoption can probably be perceived as a stereotype. Most cloud providers clearly know how to adjust their services to meet regulations. At the same time, biotech, pharma, and other companies from the regulated markets began to notice that cloud computing may be the only solution for further development and growth.
The cloud is not a strategy; it is an enabler for digital transformation and business flexibility.
Searching for the best cloud providers, like AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, or Alibaba, is deciding on a long-term partner. Let us introduce a simple and proven approach to consider while preparing your company for the journey to the cloud. Here is your homework before you start scrolling the complex white papers of various providers:
✔ Check legal regulations
Each business has its own set of regulations to follow that are defined at the global, regional, and national levels. There are industry regulations and government policies. The rising importance of cloud services in the economy has caught the attention of regulators seeking to reap the benefits of this technology while managing attendant risks. The regulatory landscape of cloud computing is highly complex. Understanding the many issues emerging from this context is critical to responsibly unlocking the potential of cloud services for a company.
Engage Legal and Compliance Officer
✔ IT Security & Data standards
Security and compliance seem to be the most challenging part of the transfer into the cloud, and some spectacular data leaks may cause a roadblock to the whole implementation. 27.6 percent of companies listed security as their most important criterion when selecting a cloud vendor. Cloud security systems are tight and designed to prevent data leaks. A high level of automation and updating helps avoid both external and internal hacker attacks or human mistakes. When you look into the requirements for information security in the cloud, the number of IT standards can be overwhelming at first. It can be challenging to understand which standards apply to your organization and which you should focus your efforts on first while planning your cloud workload. To obtain the best solution for your business, clarify your IT security and data standards and compliance requirements to quickly compare them with providers’ external certifications and compliance confirmation.
Engage Security Officer
✔ Identify and assess your needs
The cloud is a holistic ecosystem of components created to meet the particular needs of a company for new business services, scalability, manageability, adaptability, or capacity. Starting a cloud journey is a business decision, not only a technical one. The decision to move applications and data to the cloud will impact a company’s business goals. These goals could include improved security, increased development agility, or improved customer experience. Take stock of your applications and assess their readiness for digital transformation.
Check up your strategic objectives
✔ Estimate costs
In 2020, the cloud expenditure of an average company was $10,000—per month. Public cloud spending was over budget by an average of 24 percent, and that cost will further increase by 39 percent during this year. Based on self estimates – organizations waste 30 percent of their cloud spending. At first sight, based on those market statistics, cloud budgets seem to be an essential element of a company’s IT spending. There are many variables and many pricing models, which only make it harder to pick the right option.
Cloud budgeting is very different from on-premise. Cloud providers use various kinds of measures and units to charge for their services. Telling them how much we can spend on cloud solutions seems to be the easiest way. But it may be underestimated. While you draft a budget for the costs of creating, data transfer, and further cloud maintenance, you can also see opportunities for savings and team reorganizing or retraining.
Engage Finance and Controllers
Fortunately, companies do not run businesses in isolation, and there are vendors, partners, suppliers, subcontractors, and internal teams. While preparing for cloud transformation, it pays to analyze potential skills sources, both internally and externally. It could involve a demand for particular skills such as the development of serverless applications or knowledge about specific operations like AWS. 92% of UK hiring managers report difficulty finding enough cloud talent and face the further challenge of keeping hold of existing staff who are capitalizing on the demand in the market
Scouting for external abilities depends on your own needs and partnership & procurement strategy, e.g., you may prefer to work with local or global partners. Analysis of external partners (e.g., integrators, software houses) helps to understand which cloud skills are available in the market. The knowledge that you have verified and trustworthy partners, who can support you in designing and deploying cloud solutions, makes the whole venture less risky.
It is an excellent opportunity for internal teams to equip employees with a new set of digital skills and make them future-ready, even if it would mean re-skilling and building a new skill set for some of them. It makes your company more competitive as an employer.
Engage HR and Procurement
The massive amount of data, combined with flexible, scalable cloud and edge computing, is part of what allows BioTech to innovate and scale in unprecedented ways. I’m seeing the move to the cloud accelerate innovation by shortening innovation cycles and enabling rapid scaling. As A4BEE, working with global pharmaceutical companies on multiple projects, we have deployed new value-added services in less than six months. Release frequency went from quarterly to weekly, and deployment time went from days to hours.
– Karolina Marzantowicz, Chief of Growth in A4BEE
If you feel the preparation process could be challenging after reading this article and doing the “TO DO” sections, there is good news. The cloud market is prepared for providing customers from the very first step. Companies like A4BEE are ready to guide you through the whole process of estimating needs and costs or fulfill training and transformation procedures. The holistic support for regulated industries in the cloud system is a part of the great process when no company or industry sector should be left behind.