To meet the IT requirements of serving Canada’s most populous province, with 67,000 employees across more than 25 ministries and hundreds of affiliated public service agencies, a digital strategy is a business imperative for the Government of Ontario.
To test the feasibility of a private cloud solution, the government collaborated with Microsoft on a “proof of concept” initiative. The results achieved were impressive: significant improvements in efficiency and the utilization of shared services, scalability of new tasks and projects as well as delivery time.
“Their organization is now what they call ‘stronger, faster and cheaper,’” says Peter Doulas, a Microsoft private cloud expert. “They’ve significantly streamlined IT operations and set the stage for delivering on future requirements – achieving greater agility at a lower cost.”
To help double its business without increasing its environmental footprint, Unilever is also adopting a Microsoft private cloud solution.
But to realize these benefits, organizations must first guarantee that their data will be private and secure, and that their service provider is reliable.
“They want to know that the products and services they’re buying are built with security, privacy and reliability in mind in the design phase, and that their sensitive information is protected and managed in the operations phase; that the applications and infrastructure are designed to internationally recognized standards; and that when something happens, their vendor has significant resources with which to respond,” explains Mr. Doulas. “We have a 15-year history of earning trust across those dimensions.”
Microsoft opened its first data centre in 1989, four years before launching its first websites, such as MSN, and before introducing Hotmail as its first cloud service. All of the company’s products and services are designed and built around a security development life-cycle approach.
The company has invested billions in designing data centres to internationally recognized standards that comply with both U.S. law and other regional laws around the world, he says. As a result, Microsoft’s data centre infrastructure has achieved a range of certifications and accreditations, including ISO 2701, PCI Data Center security standards and SAS 70. Each data centre is designed with multiple layers of security controls, so that should one layer of defence fail, there are multiple other layers that compensate.
And as a large enterprise with a global footprint, Microsoft’s private cloud team can mobilize significant global resources to respond quickly and comprehensively if an unexpected incident arises, says Mr. Doulas.
That scope and depth enables enterprises to adopt a range of solutions to suit all of their data management and operations needs. “We can help manage multiple platforms and operating systems that alternatives in the marketplace are not able to do,” he adds. “We help organizations manage applications, from their private cloud all the way up to public cloud platforms in hybrid scenarios.”