Head in the Clouds

View From the Cloud

Head in the Clouds

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing  |  January 01, 2012

This article originally appeared in the Jan. 2012 issue of Cloud Computing.

If you ask the cloud evangelists, the will say cloud computing adoption is no longer a trend, it is now a business requirement.

If you ask the cloud-reticent, they will say cloud is still in its infancy and the industry needs clear standards before they will make the leap from on premise computing.

One thing we learned during the labor of love that gave birth to this premiere issue of Cloud Computing: cloud technologies are disrupting IT strategies as we know them – and the forecast for the foreseeable future is indeed “cloudy.”

A great competitive equalizer, cloud computing provides immediate access to resources, saves time and money in developing new services and, more and more, addresses infrastructure, communications and software needs.

Despite what many cloud vendors will tell you, security is still very much a front-and-center concern for the C-suite around the globe, including risks like data breaches and cloud outages. Symantec’s (News - Alert) recent “State of Cloud” survey showed that organizations are conflicted about security – rating it both as a top goal and as a top concern with moving to the cloud.

But with new coalitions like the Cloud Security Alliance – a group comprised of industry practitioners, corporations and associations – which is promoting best practices for providing security assurance within cloud computing, steps are also being taken to help secure all other forms of computing.

In this inaugural issue, Cloud Computing takes in-depth look at the conceivable security risks by speaking with some of the industry’s leading cloud and security experts on how to overcome these challenges, separating fact from fiction.

We’ve also made sure to cover other hot button topics and trends around the cloud, such as meeting regulatory compliance challenges, the evolution of IT in the cloud – and how small- to medium-size businesses are leveraging cloud-based services, in some cases, beating large corporations to the adoption finish line.

While it’s not a race, many businesses are stalling on implementing cloud-based services primarily due to the perceived difficulty involved and security risks, yet SMBs are moving faster toward the cloud than many big companies are, according to recent industry research.

The latest findings from Gartner (News - Alert) say SMBs are adopting the cloud at rates twice as fast as larger corporations, largely because they aren’t as risk-averse or don’t have to worry as much about integration with legacy systems (see “SMBs Leverage Enterprise-Class Cloud Solutions,” page XX).

Another common SMB theme revealed is that the details of the economic argument for cloud communication adoption are quite complex – but the top line message is clear: Moving to cloud will have a positive ROI for almost all SMBs each and every year that they adopt.

Indeed, we have had our head in the clouds in producing this first issue of Cloud Computing – we hope you will find it as informative and engaging as we found in putting it together. If IT and cloud decisions are important to you or your organization, we’ll be here to cover the most recent trends and deliver new ideas for your consideration. Keep an eye out for our next issue in April, and many more.

Erin E. Harrison

Executive Editor

P.S. We at Cloud Computing would love to hear from you – drop me a line at: eharrison@tmcnet.com.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi