Cloud Security: The Fundamental Factor in Cloud Computing Universe

By Prashant Gupta, Head of Solutions, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, India

Companies that are moving aggressively to adopt cloud computing are being rewarded with competitive advantage through increased business agility. I consider, Cloud computing are turning IT organizations more responsive than ever. In a recent study by HBR, 74 percent of respondents say that cloud computing has provided their organization with competitive advantage, with 30 percent seeing significant advantage, 33 percent seeing some advantage, and 11 percent seeing a little . Cloud enthusiasts are much more likely to say that they have seen significant advantage, at 56 percent, compared with only 19 percent of cloud moderates and 5 percent of the cautious. To the early adopters, Cloud is providing them competitive advantage by enabling them to act more quickly and collaborate easily.

Ways to make transition to Cloud smoother and efficient

One of the problems with early cloud efforts was that they were done in a vacuum, with many projects initiated by business units with no IT involvement. The reality is that cloud in and of itself is no more or less secure than other models. It depends on the measures organizations and their providers take to secure the data. If policies and procedures aren’t robust, then data will be vulnerable wherever it is hosted. Basically respondents consider the providers’ security practices more relevant while evaluating which cloud services to use.

Cloud providers have to do more to show decision makers that their services are at least as secure as the more traditional alternatives and help their customers manage risk appropriately for the business.

In a nutshell, Cloud can no more be looked at in isolation, it should be a solution driven business outcome approach. A data centric risk management approach should be taken. The flow should be looked upon end to end, starting from the client who will access the cloud-to secured connectivity, data centers where cloud is hosted.“Identity & Access management” in the cloud (a cloud based service) and “secure cloud connectivity” are two major areas that organizations are looking at now.

Growth rate and Market trends of Cloud domain

As cloud services have matured and adoption has increased, research has consistently shown that using cloud has enabled companies to act more quickly and to collaborate more easily. The ability to adapt quickly is less of an advantage when everyone can do it; rather, not adopting cloud is becoming a competitive disadvantage.

The benefits of cloud are impressive. 40 percent of respondents in a new study from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services claim that using cloud has increased revenue, and 36 percent say it has increased profit margins. Survey respondents increasingly prefer to work with established solution providers that offer a wider portfolio of services. Today, cloud’s proven benefits are leading more organizations to use it for core business systems like supply chain management, and industry-specific services such as lab services or construction management. As companies move toward using cloud for more mission-critical services, over two-thirds of respondents say they would rather work with established technology vendors that offer a wider solution portfolio than with newer niche players.

Cloud adoption in India faces poor connectivity barrier

India’s internet usage has grown dramatically. Today it is the world’s third-largest internet population after China and the US. There are many initiatives by the government and private companies to set right the connectivity like, broadband highways, public internet access program, leveraging television white space for internet connectivity in villages, Wi-Fi Hotspots in railway stations etc. From a performance and user experience perspective, cloud can leverage content delivery platforms, similar to what Verizon does with Edgecast content delivery network.

With the “Secure Cloud Interconnect”, Verizon is removing many of the barriers that often affect enterprise cloud adoption, including scalability, control and flexibility.

Verizon Enterprise Solutions’ Secure Cloud Interconnect (SCI) service offers enterprises the ability to connect more than one cloud seamlessly and securely manage a multi-cloud environment. It is built on a high-performance Private IP network and it offers clients security, scalability, control, reliability and simplicity.

Scope of business in Cloud domain within the next decade

Cloud computing is set to overtake traditional on premise solutions in IT spending, and the market valuation for cloud computing will surpass $500 billion by 2020, according to a new report. Success will depend on how well organizations manage not only their use of cloud but also the changes required in skills, processes, business models, and relationships—both inside and outside the traditional walls of the enterprise.

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