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Journey to the Cloud: Navigating the Transformation - Part 1

Nikko Asset Management's Marcus Rameke Defines the Requirements
Journey to the Cloud: Navigating the Transformation - Part 1
Marcus, Rameke, head of IT, senior vice president, Nikko Asset Management, New Zealand and CyberEdBoard executive member

The transformation of Nikko Asset Management from a traditional IT setup to a modern, flexible, and scalable environment that caters to increased mobility and meets global and local business requirements is well underway, supported by senior management and the board of directors.

See Also: ISO/IEC 27001: The Cybersecurity Swiss Army Knife for Info Guardians

In pursuit of this vision, a remarkable achievement has been reached - an impressive 80% reduction in on-premises devices. It has been important in steering away from simply lifting and shifting and instead encouraging the organization to adopt solutions that provide long-term benefits.

The journey starts with reviewing your on-premises solutions to cater for a migration to a hybrid multi-cloud environment for long-term benefits. Depending on your maturity on the journey to the cloud, you might be in a different stage.

One approach could be to first create a private cloud and take the opportunity to review and upgrade your servers. If you migrate servers or solutions with issues to the cloud solution, you might end up with even more issues in the cloud, and that is not the experience you would like to achieve. Looking at and migrating each workload separately for its purpose mitigates risks and allows the team to adjust to the change - and gain knowledge, and it gives end users time to adopt new tools to provide a better outcome.

Remember that the specific implementation and details of these aspects will depend on each organization's unique requirements and circumstances. A thorough assessment and planning process is crucial to ensuring a successful transition to a hybrid multi-cloud environment that effectively meets business needs.

Building the cloud architecture is a journey in itself. Defining a hybrid framework that supports your business should involve most of these steps:

  • Business Requirements: Understand your business goals, objectives and specific requirements. Identify the applications, data and workloads that need to be deployed in different environments - public cloud, private cloud, on-premises - based on compliance, security, performance and scalability factors.
  • Cloud Service Providers: Assess various providers to determine which ones align with your business needs and can meet your performance, cost and integration requirements.
  • Integration Strategy: Plan how your on-premises infrastructure will integrate with public and private cloud environments. Consider factors such as data migration, networking and security aspects.
  • Security and Compliance: Ensure your hybrid framework addresses security and compliance concerns. Implement proper access controls, encryption and other security measures to protect sensitive data.
  • Roles and Responsibilities: Clearly define the roles and responsibilities between teams and vendors and establish communication channels.
  • Data Management: Establish a data management strategy to handle data across different cloud environments while maintaining consistency, security and compliance.
  • Performance Optimization: Optimize the hybrid framework for performance by leveraging the strengths of each environment. For example, use public clouds for web-friendly data and private clouds for sensitive or critical applications until you have reached a certain maturity.
  • Networking: Design a reliable and secure network infrastructure to connect various components of your cloud architecture; this can add some complexity in New Zealand.
  • Cost Management: Evaluate the costs associated with each cloud environment and design the framework to optimize cost efficiency.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: Design the framework to be scalable and flexible, allowing you to adapt to changing business needs.
  • Monitoring and Governance: Implement robust monitoring and governance mechanisms to maintain visibility and control over the hybrid environment.
  • Training and Skill Development: Ensure your IT team has the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively manage and maintain the hybrid framework.
  • Disaster Recovery and Backup: Implement disaster recovery and data backup strategies to ensure business continuity.

Nikko AM NZ was running a traditional three-tier architecture data center that was no longer meeting today's requirements. The first major project was to transform that into hyper-converged infrastructure, or HCI - private cloud, introduce on-site high availability and an off-site disaster recovery solution, with a vision to later move the workload to SaaS or PaaS to ensure the business benefits of the long-term investments in a healthy and mature approach to the cloud.

These accomplishments streamlined their operations and exemplified their commitment to embracing technology and optimizing their infrastructure, resulting in substantial cost savings, improved efficiency, scalability and flexibility, as well as fabulous environmental sustainability results.

Part 2 will discuss the advantages of HCI, or hyper-converged infrastructure on-premises, compared to a traditional three-tier architecture data center and IaaS.

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Rameke is an evangelist for learning and an activist for change in the information technology sector. He manages all aspects of IT for Nikko Asset Mangement New Zealand. Rameke is recognized as one of New Zealand's Top 50 Technology Leaders, and he was awarded the prestigious CIO 50 award for two consecutive years in 2022 and 2021 by CIO New Zealand. In 2019, he was selected as one of the top 150 IT leaders in New Zealand by the CIO Leaders' Summit.



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