Cloud Services, Security Not Disparate Elements
With many organizations in the United States opting to access cloud services as an alternative to traditional technology infrastructure and equipment, vendors and businesses are continuing to emphasize practices and policies that help companies take advantage of cloud computing without undermining security.
According to a recent report by Forbes, United States companies will spend more than $13 billion on new cloud services in 2014. Cloud-based solutions offer businesses state-of-the-art technology, immediate software updates, and scalability on a subscription or pay-per-use basis. In most cases, cloud services reduce or even eliminate an organization’s dependence on such hardware products as servers as well as concerns about software licensing and upgrades. Experts note that cloud services often decrease technology costs over time while improving such functions as collaboration and accessibility to data.
Although the cloud provides considerable advantages in areas such as cost and convenience, companies that implement this type of service need to maintain sound security policies to protect their data from compromise. End users purchasing or contracting for cloud services should ask questions about how their data is stored and how it can be accessed; moreover, organizations benefit from including such details in their contracts with vendors or cloud providers. In addition, companies should work with vendors or providers to develop clearly defined and understandable security policies that anticipate and address potential risks.
Technology professional Mike Karvis recently published a new book, Architecting the Cloud: Design Decisions for Cloud Computing Service Models, in which he outlines critical practices for integrating cloud solutions into business technology models. Karvis recommends that companies often fare best if they implement cloud services gradually into their existing systems or work closely with an experienced managed hosting provider. He also notes that when designing cloud programs, companies should focus on security architecture, adding that with the appropriate structure and planning, cloud services can be even more secure than conventional on-site data centers.
By Glenn Blake
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