A rapidly growing number of companies and organizations are adopting cloud computing as part of their IT solutions.
Cloud computing offers a range of benefits to organizations of all sizes. By “renting” off-site resources, companies are able to scale their IT infrastructure up or down with minimal need for investment in additional hardware.
Cloud-based software and services offer companies increased flexibility and, in many cases, cost savings. In addition, the cloud enables access to applications and data from any location, rendering local hardware less significant than it once was for enterprise IT. A worker can access his or her applications from any connected device – a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart-phone – at the office, at home or elsewhere.
However, some commentators have suggested that cloud computing security is not yet up to the standards of many on-premise IT solutions. While many are expressing increased confidence in cloud security, there are those argue that storing data off-site, on servers owned by a third-party vendor, can never be as secure as storing data in-house.
Others, however, dispute this claim.
In a Network World report, Harold Moss, CTO of Cloud Security at IBM claimed that, with the rise of cloud computing, the security measures offered by cloud vendors are often superior to those on a company’s own servers. This, according to Moss, is possible because cloud computing companies often have greater financial capabilities, and see benefits in security spending as a business value differentiator, rather than purely an expense.
Meanwhile, in a recent report in PCWorld, Andreas Antonopoulos suggested that security was the “perfect differentiator that can add value to a bland IaaS offering”. He added “Security is like a liquor license to a restaurant – an opportunity to up-sell each customer with a high-profit margin product to balance out the dismal or loss-leading margins of the core product.”
By offering more robust and powerful security measures, then, cloud providers may be able to set themselves apart from the pack, offering services that combine flexibility and scalability with the highest degree of reliability and data protection.
Recent trends in cloud adoption may indicate confidence in cloud security has increased. U.S. government chief information officer Vivek Kundra recently announced cloud computing will play a major role in the future of government IT.