Build an Enterprise Cloud for the
Hybrid Cloud Future

Businesses are turning to the cloud as they seek to strengthen their digital infrastructure with new capabilities, agility, and economies of scale. From the smallest startups to the largest enterprises, the cloud augments existing IT deployments or private clouds to support fluid business environments, unlock digital potential, and deliver rapid business value.

The best-known benefit of the cloud would undoubtedly be how it allows businesses to deploy an enterprise-grade infrastructure far faster and affordably than traditional on-premises infrastructure. Crucially, the cloud’s operational expenses (OPEX) model negates the need for huge capital outlays, lowering the barrier of entry and allowing organisations to respond faster to changes in their businesses.

According to analyst firm Forrester, a composite organisation can avoid as much as US$10 million in on-premises infrastructure and related staff costs with a 478% 3-year return on investment by moving to a cloud such as Microsoft Azure1.

Benefits are not limited to the financial realm. With the cloud, enterprises can mitigate business disruptions and enhance resilience with built-in high-availability and disaster recovery capabilities. Some cloud platforms also offer additional perks for their cloud customers. For instance, Azure offers three more years of extended security updates at no charge for users on Windows Server 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2012 R2.

Of course, no two cloud providers are the same. The onus is on enterprises to partner with the right cloud provider to meet their requirements and drive long-term success. But how should enterprises assess the capabilities of a cloud provider before entrusting them with their applications and data?


Here are three vital considerations:
1.     Support for driving innovation

The right cloud partner will have the breadth of capabilities to support and drive innovations. For a start, IT teams are containerising, or packaging together, existing apps and services to accelerate development cycles, simplify deployments, and position them to scale rapidly. They are also seeking to modernise existing apps by integrating them with powerful, fully managed database platforms.

A cloud with strong support for containers and versatile managed database services can allow businesses to advance their digital transformation agenda. On this front, the Azure cloud offers Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) to support containers, while Azure Migrate gives enterprises the ability to work with .NET and Java applications.

In addition, Azure offers core database capabilities such as fully managed Azure SQL, Azure Database for MySQL, and Azure Database for PostgreSQL, allowing enterprises to modernise existing enterprise systems or apps with a modern cloud stack.

Finally, enterprises can leverage advanced features such as Azure App Service and Azure Spring Cloud to modernise .NET, PHP, and Java websites, bestowing them with enterprise-grade availability without rebuilding them from scratch.


2.     Support for strengthening cybersecurity

There is no dismissing the vital importance of cybersecurity with the constantly evolving threatscape that businesses face today. Coupled with the need to support hybrid work and adapt to a fluid, highly connected environment, enterprises must collaborate closely with partners to stay ahead of hackers and meet stringent compliance requirements.

Fortunately, cloud providers such as Azure offer a broad set of cloud compliance certifications, including those specific to Singapore like the Outsourced Service Provider's Audit Report (OSPAR) and the Multi-Tier Cloud Security (MTCS) Standard. This allows enterprises to confidently meet regulatory requirements and focus on their core competencies.

With Azure, enterprises can also secure themselves from threats with Azure Sentinel, a cloud-native security information and event management (SIEM) that aggregates systems alerts and provides intelligent, AI- (Artificial Intelligence) informed security analytics. In addition, a team of more than 3,500 global security experts and over US$1 billion in Azure cybersecurity investments serve to safeguard the business assets of Azure cloud customers, ensuring that the services they provide to customers are secured against hackers and free of security-related defects.


3.     Support for hybrid cloud deployments

While cloud advocates have pushed for cloud-only deployments, hybrid cloud deployments are unlikely to vanish go away any time soon due to legacy deployments and data locality considerations. Indeed, the rise of AI- (Artificial Intelligence) driven workloads and always-connected IoT (Internet of Things) solutions means that demand for edge computing is rising, driven by the need to install latency-sensitive systems as close to users as possible.

The cloud isn’t an all or nothing proposition. With Azure Arc, enterprises can secure, manage, and govern their Windows and non-Windows workloads that they are not ready to move yet or scheduled for migration at a later stage. Similarly, enterprises benefit from consistent app development practices and enhanced velocity in hybrid environments with Arc-enabled Kubernetes, a container orchestration system for automating software deployment, scaling, and management.

When it comes to licensing, Azure allows businesses to reuse their existing Windows Server and SQL Server licences on the cloud with the Azure Hybrid Benefit – a huge benefit considering it is rarely transferrable. And as of 2020, the programme was extended to include Red Hat and SUSE Linux.


Are you building your enterprise cloud or trying to determine the cloud provider that best fits your requirements? With our cloud experts trained to support enterprises at every step of their cloud journey, StarHub can support your cloud migration and modernisation journey.

Contact us today to start your cloud modernisation journey.


1. Forrester Consulting Total Economic Impact Study: Microsoft Azure IaaS, Forrester, August 2019

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