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Dealing with Governance and Security of UC

July 30, 2016 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Dale Bottcher / AVI-SPL

At AVI-SPL, we pride ourselves on staying a step ahead of the industry. We do that by facing challenges head-on and finding solutions that will proactively meet the communication needs of our clients both now and in the increasingly digital future. There's something important between those lines that I think is worth pointing out--our approach is rooted in addressing challenges, not perpetuating the status quo. All industries--even (and sometimes especially) those growing the fastest--have unique sets of challenges. Take Unified Communications (UC), for example--it has been advantageous for businesses all across the world, allowing people to connect with each other and collaborate without having to travel. UC has also expanded the candidate pools for recruiting and improved productivity, yet security and governance still remain a top concern for enterprise CIOs. Why is that? The fact of the matter is that in today's digital landscape, traditional security policies may not work with emerging cloud practices. So where do we go from here? How can CIOs approach dealing with governance and security of UC? Let's explore.

Struggling with Security? Survey Says: You're Not Alone

If you've got some hang-ups when it comes to your security for public or private cloud applications as part of your UC setup, join the club. In fact, a recent study by ESG research found that of the 57 percent of enterprise companies that reported using private and public cloud infrastructures, 92 percent relied on existing security workloads. Ok, fair enough. Here's the kicker, though: 42 percent of that same population admit they've had to abandon some traditional security policies. Here's what many of them said is not working as well as they'd like:

  • Data security technologies such as encryption
  • Host-based security technologies like file integrity monitoring
  • Network security technologies like firewalls
  • Web application firewalls

It's clear, then, that trying to force existing security measures for hardware to fit new cloud-based software is going to result in some level of IT headache. And when you're moving sensitive data into the cloud, it's not a headache anyone wants. The best bet is to address cloud security head-on instead of trying to make old plays in a new game.

Governance in the Age of Cloud Continues to Challenge CIOs

Many CIOs have chosen to take their enterprise organizations into a hybrid environment, relying on a combination of public and private cloud software. This approach can be conducive to streamlining operations within the organization but difficult in terms of governance. The same goes for the BYOD-generation of employees--all those devices are great for accessibility and productivity, but hard to govern and protect. So what's a CIO to do?

They can start by focusing on managing the full lifecycle of the cloud service, not just the glittery beginning. For example, carefully crafting all service level agreements (SLAs) is incredibly important, as is allowing for all changes and potential decommissioning. How will that work? What are the rules? Account for it all at the outset to avoid costly downtime later.

Also, CIOs should consider a cloud management platform that can be positioned consistently across various environments (infrastructure, public cloud, private cloud) and provides regular monitoring as part of the service--one less thing on an already full plate.

Have you experienced any challenges in dealing with the governance and security of your UC system? Do you struggle with trying to retrofit your security measures to handle the complexities of cloud-based software? Is cost an issue? After identifying your particular struggles, can you see light at the end of the tunnel? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


About the Author
Dale Bottcher is Senior Vice President of Sales at AVI-SPL, the largest integrator of complex visual collaboration solutions in the world where he regularly works with Fortune 500 clients on the leading edge of technology.

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