Friday, September 30, 2011

WOLF Weekly Cloud Sum-up, Sep 30, 2011

Initially adopted by large companies as a way of streamlining their IT infrastructures, cloud computing is now being embraced by growing numbers of smaller businesses around the country. Lured by the promise of lower costs, small companies are finding cloud computing can also offer improved flexibility, better security and lower risks. In its simplest form, cloud computing involves a business handing over responsibility for its IT systems to a third-party service provider. Rather than needing to worry about managing computer servers, updating software and performing data back-ups, the business "rents" the capacity it needs, accessing applications and data that sit on remote servers via the internet.

Read more to find how SMEs find brighter prospects in Cloud Computing.

Eight cloud computing risks, and how to quash them

In their latest book, Cloud Computing for Business, Dr. Chris Harding and his team of co-authors affiliated with The Open Group — a key standards body for enterprise architecture — detail some of the key risk areas that need to be looked at with any cloud project:
  1. The solution may not meet its financial objectives 
  2. The solution may not work in the context of the user enterprise’s organization and culture 
  3. The solution may be difficult to develop due to the difficulty of integrating the cloud services involved 
  4. The solution may not comply with its legal, contractual and moral obligations 
  5. A disaster may occur from which the solution cannot recover 
  6. System quality may be inadequate, so that it does not meet users’ needs 
  7. Security may be inadequate 
  8. There may be an existing lack of service orientation 
Cloud computing rewrites rules for network managers

The proliferation of cloud computing and web-based applications in the corporate environment has rewritten the ground rules of enterprise network security. Businesses have cut costs and increased efficiency by using cloud computing, such as web-based applications that replace traditional desktop functions and services that power operations and infrastructure. However, by extending functions beyond the reach of the traditional network defenses, organizations have exposed themselves to a new realm of security vulnerabilities. Experts warn that applications can be outsourced, but not risk. Further, the shift emphasizes the importance of enterprises regularly auditing network and security assets.

Some companies view cloud computing as a threat to their IT security

Research just released by Kaspersky Lab claims to show that around a quarter of companies (23%) see the cloud as a threat to their IT security. David Emm, senior security researcher with Kaspersky Lab, said there are two key factors driving development of cloud services. “The first is cost. The economies of scale that can be achieved by storing data or hosting applications in the cloud can result in significant savings for businesses”, he said. “The second is flexibility. Employees can access data from anywhere, at any time, using any device – including mobile devices. So businesses can benefit from an 'always-on' workforce. However, this research proves companies still harbor concerns about implementing cloud services”, he added.

Business meets IT in the Cloud

Saji Thoppil, GM, Wipro Infotech discussed the importance of aligning business requirements with IT by means of Cloud adoption. It is an established fact that the Cloud is one of the hottest technology trends that is being talked about across the industry and in various discussion forums. Thoppil talked of the importance of exploring and harnessing Cloud computing. According to Gartner, the Cloud is one of the top technology trends driven by technologies like mobility, video, social media & collaboration and ubiquitous computing. “Looking at all of these technologies, enterprises have to analyze if they can scale up their infrastructure to meet growing needs; you will find that there is a bottleneck here,” he noted.

We hope these short sum-ups on cloud computing will help you to take a more knowledgeable approach towards moving to the cloud. Stay tuned for more sum-ups on in the forthcoming weeks.

Don’t forget to add your comments and suggestions. I will have more around the cloud a week later.

Santanu Das
Marketing Evangelist, WOLF Frameworks

NOTE: The views expressed above are purely personal and for informational purposes only. WOLF FRAMEWORKS INDIA PVT. LTD. MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.


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