Cloud Business Integration: What Service Providers are Doing to Penetrate the Enterprise Market
A lot of cloud services began their lives in the consumer market and offered services for the individual rather than the Enterprise business. They offer free subscriptions and use for certain small amounts of resources as a preview of their capabilities. But the problem is that most individual users do not really need a lot of resources from the cloud unless they are running their own business online and so may need more. But the truth is no matter how big the consumer market is, and hence the number of potential customers, the real money is in the enterprise market. This is where all the big resource consumers are residing and so this should be one of the main target markets for any cloud service provider.
But sometimes a cloud service becomes so useful for an individual that it becomes indispensable even at work. This person would use a service or application that he likes instead of using those provided by the IT department of his company. This brings a lot of problems and opens up a slew of security concerns, not to mention creates nightmares for IT to deal with in the event that permission is given to use the non-regulation app or service. IT will have to find ways to make that cloud service secure and costs valuable time and money better spent for some bigger problem. One very common cloud service that IT encounters that users utilize instead of those provided are online backup services.
So for a service provider who is already being patronized by the individual user, whose notoriety is being spread through word of mouth, it is best to target that person’s workplace as well. The service has to expand and cater to the enterprise. This is where the sure source of money is from contracts made with large businesses. The best way to do this is to reshape the nature of their service in order for it to comply with security protocols being used in the enterprise. They must make sure that their service can adapt and mold to existing systems within the company in order for it to be integrated as one of the productivity tools being used in that company. It must provide the ones who can actually make a strong recommendation for its use –the IT department. The service must provide consoles and administrator –level interfaces which allows administrators to take full control of the application being used by individual users in order for it to comply with the company’s data control standards.
By allowing remote management, security and authentication processes and data control, cloud service providers can penetrate the enterprise market. And who knows, maybe someday the lack of security myth of cloud computing will disappear.
By Abdul Salam
He has recently co-authored: Deploying and Managing a Cloud Infrastructure: Real-World Skills for the CompTIA Cloud+ Certification (Wiley).