How Private Cloud is Changing Business
The economic crisis of the last four years and the austerity measures that followed have forced businesses large and small to assess their budgets and spending in areas including IT.
The recovery from the latest financial crisis has coincided with the growth in popularity of cloud computing – essentially outsourcing the maintenance of servers and applications and allowing companies to store and access company materials on the internet.
Cloud technology is being hyped as a method of managing IT that offers endless benefits to businesses including reduced capital outlay and predictable monthly costs for IT hosting. Cloud-based IT also offers scalability and flexibility with users able to expand their capacity when necessary and easily scale back to normal amounts when traffic levels have decreased. Cloud hosting has proven popular already with seasonal businesses including e-commerce sites that experience peaks in traffic at different times of the year. However, the business case for moving to a cloud-based infrastructure isn’t cut and dried. The advantages and drawbacks of cloud hosting depend entirely on the kind of cloud adopted. Public, private and hybrid clouds present very different opportunities to firms thinking about moving to an internet-based infrastructure to host their IT.
Cloud security is, according to the Cloud Industry Forum (an industry body set up to regulate the industry and guide cloud providers through a code of practice), the main obstacle preventing businesses from committing to transferring their business IT to the cloud.
The level of security in the cloud depends on the type of cloud you choose. A wholly dedicated private cloud is the best option for enterprise level hosting. With dedicated kit and no shared resources, it is an entirely different proposition to a public or hybrid cloud. A dedicated private cloud can be locked down securely, giving businesses confidence that their data is safe. It is the most secure cloud solution, using a 100 per cent dedicated infrastructure, allowing private cloud users to reap the cost and performance benefits of a cloud solution without compromising on security.
With public clouds and hybrid clouds, there are potential issues around the security of data. Unlike private, dedicated cloud hosting, public and hybrid clouds present the security concerns associated with multi-tenancy and higher levels of aggregated data.
The benefits cloud technology can offer businesses are huge but hosting IT in the cloud is by no means risk free.
Whether businesses will do as many industry insiders predict and quickly adopt cloud technology in 2011, it’s too early to say. What is certain, however, is that cloud technology will significantly change the way businesses use IT in the future.
By Emma Puzylo