Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cloud Computing: Opportunities & Threats

BIG Event: Cloud Computing- Opportunities & Threats 8/23/11

Executive Summary: Many organizations are gravitating towards Cloud computing as a natural evolution for their businesses. The successful implementation and utilization of Cloud services is reliant on education and understanding of this concept. The panel addressed various risks and benefits of this change in IT delivery for businesses.

Speakers: Kathy Harris, panel moderator

Andrew Birch, Tech Structures

Chad Mosman, Message Ops (Top MS partner in US)

Monty Blight, Peak 10

Chris France, Advanced 2000

James McLachlan, BriteVerify

Cloud Computing: (Gartner) “set of disciplines, technologies, and business models used to deliver IT capabilities (software, platforms, and hardware) as an on-demand.”

5 Attributes of Cloud Computing:

1. Service based

2. Scalable/ elastic

3. Shared infrastructure- where economic value is, cost efficiency*

4. Metered by use

5. Internet Technologies

The Players:

Cloud service providers

Consumers: Enterprises & Individuals

Emerging Cloud Brokers

· Value added intermediaries

· Help strategize

Cloud Computing Delivery/Consumption Models

· Business Services BPO

· Information Services- Data Management

· Software as a service- packaged apps.

· Platform as a service

· Infrastructure as a service

-Variations of cloud deployment models (public, private, community)- hybrids created by those providing service

-Lots of player experts in cloud define terms differently, adapt to your own company—no standard definition

-Amazon is leading provider in this “natural evolution” –Monty Blight

1. Question: What works & what doesn’t?

-Most small businesses are looking for as little IT as possible--Concern about control and who is in possession of it

-not just about the infrastructure, need for customer support

-benefits: private cloud is obviously useful if the internet goes down-- data stored in multiple locations (common of bigger providers)--better protection & prevents denial of service, extremely cost efficient (big plus for small businesses), simple file and application (modern**) sharing, great enabler, but requires education and knowledge to be successful

-public cloud: shared infrastructure (“multi-tenant”-Monty), segmented and secure

-type of cloud used should be company-based priorities i.e. budget, concern for privacy**Cloud is not necessarily appropriate for everyone

-dedicated private cloud: hardware in secure facility vs. virtual private cloud

**panel wary of community cloud

-one of the major problems is that people think virtualized services, when referred to as Cloud Computing, are new technology

2. Question: Shared storage space & security?

-“The only secured computer is one cut off and unplugged.”-Chris France

**Before you use file-sharing services, be wary of the risk. i.e Does the service have document duplication on their end? Who has access to this information?**

-private clouds typically have one or multiple data center(s) and 3rd party consultants

-Q1: “What type of visibility do cloud service providers have in their end to end supply chain? Are they able to share that with their customers? For example, if they outsource part of the hardware/software/support, who are the people doing the work? Are they in countries known for stealing intellectual property?”-TP, Fortalice, LLC.

· Visibility with service provider is 100%, so security is an obvious issue

· Providers don’t have a specific protocol as far as what information needs to be released to their clients so it is extremely important to ask the above questions! I.e. if their data center is in NY & this is at odds with something to do with your business, you may need to go with a different cloud provider or keep it internal (more $$)

3. Question: What about in the incidence of a takeover, where another company buys your cloud service provider? What protects the consumer?

-NO real precedents at this point, although client holds intellectual property rights

-UNC Law has suggested Cloud Service Contract:

4. Question: For the small business without a CIO that has to outsource, what does it take from the IT & management side to maintain? (with regards to an established business)—Business Risk Standpoint

-Moving to Cloud drops monetary cost, but at what price?

-necessary to update most traditional applications to software applications conducive to cloud technology-- $$

-We are moving in a direction where IT and business are becoming increasingly intertwined

-definite need for consultants who are experts on this technology

Notes Taken By: Brittany Box, Fortalice, LLC. August 23, 2011

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