Chevron signs seven-year deal with Microsoft Azure
California-based Chevron has announced that it has signed a seven-year deal with Microsoft that will see the technology company’s Azure platform established as Chevron’s primary cloud provider, part of the energy giant’s wider digital transformation strategy.
Chevron aims to utilise the partnership with Microsoft in order to more readily incorporate advanced technologies into its operations, including big data analytics and the internet of things (IoT), as a way of improving its performance.
“We embrace every opportunity that streamlines our workflows, gives us insights into more efficient operations and helps us compete,” said Joe Geagea, Chevron’s Executive Vice President of Technology, Projects and Services.
“We already have a head start in digitizing our oilfields, but we want to accelerate our deployment of new technologies that position us to increase our revenues, lower our costs, and improve the safety and reliability of our operations.”
Using Microsoft Azure, Chevron will be able to streamline its IT operations, whilst also evolving it from a support system to one that drives the company’s digitisation, optimising its marketing, production, management, exploration and logistics operations.
The partnership will also benefit Microsoft in the fact that it will facilitate joint innovation, not only from a technological perspective, but also from a business one. Microsoft will be able to use the partnership to identify potential future products of interests, as well as how Microsoft solutions can be utilised in different ways.
“With Chevron and Microsoft, intelligent energy meets intelligent cloud,” said Jason Zander, corporate vice president of Microsoft Azure.
“Our global cloud infrastructure – which has more regions around the world than any other cloud provider – will enable Chevron to leverage our capabilities across areas like high-performance computing and Internet of Things to become a truly digital business.”
The announcement is the latest string of positive news for Microsoft Azure, having announced a 93% growth in sales in its latest quarterly results this week.
IT Employees Predict 90% Increase in Cloud Security Spending
As companies get back on their feet post-pandemic, they’re going all-in on cloud applications. In a recent report by Devo Technology titled “Beyond Cloud Adoption: How to Embrace the Cloud for Security and Business Benefits”, 81% of the 500 IT and security team members surveyed said that COVID accelerated their cloud timelines. More than half of the top-performing businesses reported gains in visibility. In fact, the cloud now outnumbers on-premise solutions at a 3:1 ratio.
But the benefits are accompanied by significant cybersecurity risks, as cloud infrastructure is more complex than legacy systems. Let’s dive in.
Why Are Cloud Platforms Taking Over?
According to Forrester, the public cloud infrastructure market could grow 28% over the next year, up to US$113.1bn. Companies shifting to remote work and decentralised workplaces find it easy to store and access information, especially as networks start to share more and more supply chain and enterprise information—think risk mitigation platforms and ESG ratings.
Here’s the catch: when you shift to the cloud, you choose a more complex system, which often requires cloud-native platforms for network security. In other words, you can’t stop halfway. ‘Only cloud-native platforms can keep up with [the cloud’s] speed and complexity” and ultimately increase visibility and control’, said Douglas Murray, CEO at cloud security provider Valtix.
Here’s a quick list of the top cloud security companies, as ranked by Software Testing Help:
What are the Security Issues?
Here’s the bad news. According to Accenture, less than 40% of companies have achieved the full value they expected on their cloud investments. All-in greater complexity has forced companies to spend more to hire skilled tech workers, analyse security data, and manage new cybersecurity threats.
The two main issues are (1) a lack of familiarity with cloud systems and (2) challenges with shifting legacy security systems to new platforms. Out of the 500 IT employees from Devo Technology’s cloud report, for example, 80% said they’d sorted 40% more security data, suffered from a lack of cloud security training, and experienced a 60% increase in cybersecurity threats.
How Will Companies React?
They certainly won’t stop investing in cloud platforms. Out of the 500 enterprise-level companies that Devo Technology talked to throughout North America and Western Europe, 90% anticipated a jump in cloud security spending in 2021. They’ll throw money at automating security processes and investing in security upskilling programmes.
After all, company executives will find it incredibly difficult to stick with legacy systems when some cloud-centred companies have found success. Since moving from Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) offerings to the cloud, Accenture has saved up to 70% on its processes; recently, the company announced that it would invest US$3bn to help its clients ‘realise the cloud’s business value, speed, cost, talent, and innovation benefits’.
The company stated: ‘Security is often seen as the biggest inhibitor to a cloud-first journey—but in reality, it can be its greatest accelerator’.