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Redefining Mission-Critical – How Do You Ensure Cloud Stability in Uncertain Times?

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 in Managed Services, Multicloud

During times of crisis, business stability and continuity is key. In 2020, the world is facing not only the unprecedented challenge of protecting global health, but also the resulting economic impact on businesses in all sectors and of all scales. Especially those businesses working with mission-critical applications and data.

In the business world, we refer to certain processes, workloads, applications and data as ‘mission-critical’ when their continuity, integrity and security are paramount to the fundamental functioning of a business. In fact, when Forrester Consulting recently asked businesses around the globe about their multicloud environments, more than half of the respondents said that applications dealing with customer, financial and sensitive data were mission-critical applications. You can check-out the new research, commissioned by Virtustream, here.   

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has already shown that the definition of mission-critical has rapidly morphed and intensified. Those previous mission-critical IT processes, in sectors such as healthcare, shipping and manufacturing, are now more critical than ever as the world comes together to save lives and secure the economy. And with more than a third of the world’s population continuing to be under shelter-in-place mandates, much of the world’s workforce is working remotely, resulting in an escalated level of importance for the security, connectivity and access to business data. For enterprises, keeping their systems and applications running efficiently and securely in the cloud will be fundamental to weathering the storm.

No time for downtime

Several industries are now under even more pressure to ensure continuity of service. Naturally for healthcare providers, their mission-critical applications and patient data are more critical than ever as workloads increase and resources come under pressure. Similarly, key manufacturers, logistics companies and others face growing demands and tight deadlines to produce and deliver vital products and services to other businesses.

Enterprises of all sizes have built their businesses on core applications like those from SAP. These are mission-critical workloads that require near-zero downtime in many cases, like train and metro systems, air travel, banking, pharmaceutical research and healthcare to name just a few industries. In fact, more than 60% of the respondents to a recent Statista study say enterprise downtime can cost a business anywhere from $300,000 to $5,000,000 per hour.

The margin for IT issues is notoriously thin. In the wake of increased cyberattacks, it’s vital to recognize that any disruption can have a devastating impact on your business – from reputational damage to potentially huge financial losses. Cloud services must be purpose-built to deliver robust uptime SLAs, as well as protect sensitive data. As a result, we are seeing a movement towards dedicated cloud managed services partners to offer enterprises’ assurances that their systems and data are secure.

The mission-critical landscape is changing

With many in the global workforce permanently shifting to remote work almost overnight, IT teams have a monumental task on their hands to ensure these employees are now as capable and productive at home. Providing easy access to mission-critical, cloud-based applications and data can be complex. In fact, most respondents to the Forrester Consulting study say they host mission-critical applications in multiple cloud environments today, with 94% of those organizations reporting that they’ve experienced deployment or ongoing management issues related to their multicloud environments. To combat this, having the right expertise to maximize the benefits of multicloud deployments is crucial, whether that be by adding internal staff with specific multicloud experience, or by seeking out cloud managed services providers with deep expertise across multicloud deployments and mission-critical applications.

The role of technology in humanity’s effort to overcome the threats facing our world in 2020 cannot be overstated. The spotlight may be focused on the race for treatments and vaccines, but equally important are the IT backbones of organizations everywhere — keeping our hospitals open, our governments running, our factories producing vital supplies, our financial institutions stable, and our communications services humming throughout this time of uncertainty. For businesses of all shapes and sizes there has never been a more critical time to ensure the efficiency and stability of their cloud-based IT, to keep themselves and the world’s economy moving forward.

With mission-critical cloud platforms like Virtustream Enterprise Cloud, and expert managed cloud services like Virtustream’s xStreamCare Services™ portfolio, there’s no need for a business’ IT staff to go it alone. Organizations with complex systems and applications can confidently move to the cloud with expert managed services to help them mitigate their skill gaps, improve security and application uptime, accelerate time to value, and optimize overall performance. Partnering with a time-tested managed services provider with proven methodologies and best practices can ensure a smooth, efficient transformation to a modernized, cloud-based platform, with support for each stage of the journey, from planning to migration to production.

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