Moving to the cloud doesn’t have to mean sacrificing security or breaking the bank — integrating private cloud technology into large-scale network architecture can be a problem-solving, connection-making enterprise solution for achieving operational goals.
Private cloud use cases often include hybrid solutions, where some data is filtered through a public cloud infrastructure while a smaller amount of data is kept separate on a private cloud. Private clouds offer several benefits, including:
- Improved data security
- Lower latency between data retrieval apps and resources
- Data governance features
- Secure customer-facing features like account access through apps
Here are five examples of private cloud use cases that showcase how various major industries are using these solutions to achieve operational goals, adhere to regulatory requirements and to safeguard sensitive data.
Industry: Insurance and financial services
Primerica, an insurance and financial services company, partnered with IBM to shift to hybrid cloud architecture with a goal to speed innovation and modernize application development for both internal and customer-facing tools. The company had decades worth of data and other assets stored on legacy systems, some of which could safely be managed in a public cloud setting, but some of which needed to be better secured within a private cloud database to meet regulatory requirements around data privacy.
The company was experiencing a great deal of lag time when tackling full application rebuilds, in particular, a process that could take months to more than a year. IBM Garage worked with the company to develop a hybrid cloud strategy, including a private cloud maintained onsite.
By moving to a hybrid cloud architecture with IBM, Primerica is able to keep sensitive data secure on premises, while taking advantage of advanced cloud tech like containers and microservices — improvements that have helped the company build and modernize its software app releases more efficiently. One primary application has been an updated client portal that provides a better customer experience.
Industry: Big data visualization
Snowflake is a cloud-native data platform that allows providers and consumers to interact with one another between accounts. Much of that data is highly sensitive and regulated according to various domestic and international data privacy laws. The company moves data across multiple public clouds for tasks like data warehousing, data lakes, data engineering, data science, data application development and data sharing. While Snowflake’s solutions have been attractive to certain industries, those within heavily regulated industries had been less likely to partner with Snowflake due to its focus on public cloud resources.
Adding Microsoft Azure Private Link to Snowflake’s offerings allowed the company to target customers from heavily regulated industries. In comments in a Microsoft case study, Vikas Jain, product management leader at Snowflake says, “Data is the crown jewel of these organizations. From a security perspective, they want to make sure that we can provide all the controls that their on-premises networks do. Effectively, they need a private cloud that is inaccessible by anyone outside their network.”
Snowflake reports that they’ve been able to effectively service this previously underperforming customer base due to their ability to provide a more secure option for handling sensitive data. The company also notes that even customers not operating within heavily regulated industries benefit from private cloud options, because “they no longer have to open up their firewalls to access our services.”
Industry: Financial services (payment processing)
In order to keep up with competitors, SimplePay, a global payments service based in Sydney, Australia needed to connect consumers with financial data securely through their mobile phones and online. The existing solutions were not fast enough to keep up with customer demand and had various security flaws that left data vulnerable to breaches. The company was also unable to meet certain financial industry regulations around payment data.
The company opted to utilize a software solution — Riverbed SteelConnect — through the AWS Marketplace to deploy several gateways in AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). This has allowed SimplePay to handle thousands of transactions every second, which involves extremely heavy database usage that needs to be replicated and synchronized globally. Customers can handle mobile and online payments quicker and more securely because of this private cloud addition.
Hoffmann-Neopac, a packaging manufacturer for food and pharmaceutical products, turned to a private cloud solution to facilitate managed IT services — specifically big data analytics. This is an area that the company wanted to expand into but preferred a third-party managed services arrangement versus bringing these tasks onsite.
In an IBM’s case study, Frank Wedermann, Hoffmann-Neopac’s CIO, says, “We’re a packaging company, not an IT company, and it no longer made sense to spend so much time and effort on running our SAP landscape. You need at least two people with the right knowledge and skills to manage an on-premises solution, which does not make sense for most small and mid-sized companies. To free our IT team to focus more resources on the core business, we decided to hand over the hosting and day-to-day infrastructure management to the experts who do nothing else, for us and other clients, and benefit from their experience across environments and companies.”
By moving to a fully managed private cloud environment based around IBM Power Systems and IBM Systems Storage, the company has been able to reduce costs and streamline workloads across its global workforce. Data can be called up and analyzed within a private cloud architecture that keeps it protected and quickly accessible, before being sent to colder storage in more affordable public cloud storage facilities.
Industry: Financial services
Capital One had been shifting toward cloud infrastructure for several years, but faced a choice about how to manage an increasing amount of regulated and private data. Devoting more on-site resources could be costly, but outsourcing the massive amount of data management required to keep up with the scale of data Capital One moves was daunting.
A public-private hybrid solution allows Capital One to move regulated data through private cloud infrastructure powered by AWS, which streamlines compliance tasks and adds multi-layered protection for sensitive financial and private consumer data.
Shifting resources to private cloud solutions is a safe way to protect sensitive data, and processing data in these environments can fulfill industry regulation requirements.
However, it is much more expensive to house and access data within private environments, so many enterprises are turning to hybrid and multi-cloud solutions where only a portion of data assets are handled within private clouds.