Cloud Computing in 2012: Ready for Enterprise?

March 31, 2012
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It’s no surprise that computing, applications, and data storage have been creeping ever so more and more into the idea of “the cloud.” Cloud computing is becoming more and more prevalent in everyday computing and has no signs of slowing down.

It’s no surprise that computing, applications, and data storage have been creeping ever so more and more into the idea of “the cloud.” Cloud computing is becoming more and more prevalent in everyday computing and has no signs of slowing down.

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing

From a personal perspective, I can say that cloud computing is definitely the future and is here to stay. I can remember a few years ago when I would use my school’s email address and attach papers and homework to emails and send them to myself in order to print later that day, using it as a means to access my data at another computer. That’s the reason why the cloud is popular among personal users. Having that freedom to access data in multiple locations is the new wave of computing and is slowly being enveloped by today’s society.  We are seeing the cloud being used in everyday personal use more and more as Apple’s iCloud, Windows SkyDrive and Dropbox become increasingly integrated into some of our favorite websites and programs.

From a enterprise perspective however, we have seen, for quite some time, that many believe the cloud is not a viable option for their business.  As long as I can remember, there has always been a fear among organizations/companies about moving into a cloud environment. Whether it’s security, privacy or compliance, there has always been hesitation when considering if the cloud is right for your business.

With regards to security, big organizations have always had an uneasy feeling when it comes to cloud computing. Old traditional security architectures will not work in a cloud environment. When dealing with clouds, you also have to understand virtualization and make sure it’s secure and configured properly. While these are very easy to transition to, there is some planning that needs to be done to ensure the transition goes smoothly.

With security being discussed, compliance also comes into play. Whether it’s with PCI DSS, HIPAA or SOX compliance, it’s always a factor in any computing spectrum. Each type of compliance has its own guidelines, policies and procedures that need to be followed and in place to achieve said compliance. With all of the fines that could be placed on your own organization for not abiding by those rules, it’s essential that when looking at a cloud provider (or any sort of data/web hosting provider for that matter) to put in the research to determine their level of compliance.

Even with these added issues, I think that you’ll soon see organizations finally turn the other cheek and see the benefits (lower costs and scalability) and begin to lose this fear of “the cloud” and look at it as not “Should we use it?”, but “How can we use it?” Now is the time for it to thrive in the enterprise market, and I believe 2012 is the year for it to make its mark.