Cloud. Security. Two words that can polarise debate as some channel leaders see opportunity while others see issues and for every cloud sceptic there is a cloud convert. All too often the debate is about how secure is “cloud” whereas the focus should really be on understanding what it has to offer and how it can support an organisation’s business priorities.
The likelihood is that your customers are already utilising cloud-based services in one form or another. According to research by Cloud Security Alliance, customer relationship management (CRM) represents the most widely adopted cloud-based solution with over 36% of companies having made the migration. The survey further highlighted that 64.9% of IT leaders think the cloud is as secure or more secure than on-premises software. This finding contrasts significantly with a global survey conducted for BT in 2014, which revealed that more than three quarters of IT decision makers (82 percent in the US; 76 percent globally) said security was their main concern about using cloud-based services.
Whilst confidence is growing, customers should not feel compelled to make the giant leap to the cloud. Public cloud isn’t a panacea and it’s important for organisations to understand their options when developing a cloud strategy. Not all data is equal and this fact is paramount when deciding where it resides. Just like traditional storage and data sharing methods, cloud computing comes with its own set of characteristics that introduce a new set of risks. Data governance is one of the primary concerns when moving to the cloud as organisations relinquish some control over their data. New assurances are needed to ensure that organisational security policies and legal obligations continue to be met.
Cloud computing offers organisations many significant benefits including:
- Potential cost savings
- Increased capacity.
Organisations can maximise these benefits by understanding the implications of handing over their data to a third party and by assessing the additional risks that this move creates. Once these risks are identified, organisations can ensure that the necessary controls are in place to enable them to meet their information security and data governance objectives.
A move to the cloud has challenges and this presents an opportunity for the channel. For every organisation keen to dive head first into a cloud only environment, there will be others wanting to adopt a more considered approach and explore private or hybrid cloud environments. Every organisation has a different tolerance to risk and the channel is best placed to help them select the optimal solution that delivers the benefits of cloud computing whilst mitigating threats with the most secure solution.
Danny Yeowell has 30 years’ experience within the IT industry working for manufacturers and systems integrators. The past 20 years’ experience has been gained within the solutions and pre-sales environment across many market sectors. Yeowell has a breadth of knowledge spanning networking, security, data centre and unified communications, among other associated technology and service areas.
This post was written by Avnet Technology Solutions EMEA on November 22, 2016