PwC: cybersecurity - a strategic priority
With PwC experiencing COVID-19 forcing organisations to rapidly shift to new digital ways of working, the organisation is seeing many now using it as “a catalyst for permanent changes,” commented , back by its latest research that 34% of UK organisations plan to accelerate their digitalisations plans as a result of COVID-19, with 34% having more employees working remotely.
This shift to further digitalisations however, “has had a knock-on effect on cybersecurity strategies,” commented , who reports that 96% of respondents have shifted their cybersecurity strategy due to COVID-19, with 50% of UK organisations reporting that cybersecurity will be core to every business decision. “This shows that security is too important to be seen as an afterthought,” added .
These beliefs are mirrored at a global level, with PwC’s research showing that 43% of respondents agreed that there will be increased interactions between CISOs and CEOs as a result of cybersecurity taking a more prominent role.
The role of the CISO
PwcC further reports that as cybersecurity becomes an increasing priority, the CISO role needs to match this growth. In PwC’s research 27% of UK organisations commented tat the CISO’s primary role should be centred around being a transformational leader, with similar figures globally (20%).
In additon the ocmpany further reports that the CISO needs to ability to lead a cross functional team to develop agile, forward thinking security operations that align with the overal transformation goals. “15% of UK respondents said the CISO should primarily be an operational leader and master tactician compared to 20% globally,” commented PwC.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”