The Cloud under Threat; the Top Three Enemies
Cloud computing is rapidly expanding. This means that large and smaller business is increasing their bandwidth consumption as they make the most of the many opportunities the cloud has to offer. Companies particularly enjoy the ability to purchase services that were once only accessible to enterprise-level businesses, such as data storage, security, billing support, and business voice.
Though no longer in its infancy, the age of cloud services is relatively young and it has to surmount a number of obstacles that are set to impede further growth. Here are the three main threats to cloud technology.
Metered bandwidth could be a significant hurdle along cloud’s growth track. Terry Hedden, founder and CEO of Infinity Technology Solutions (now Zeno Technology Solutions), points out that "metered bandwidth could end this whole cloud game." The move from permitting clients to use unlimited gigabits of data to billing for specific bandwidth usage could deter small and medium-sized companies from deploying cloud services, as they search for less expensive alternatives.
Todd Carothers of Canada-based CounterPath, explains his company’s strategies for surmounting the metered bandwidth obstacle. "First of all the codec usage is not that heavy, it doesn't have to be that heavy across data and in some cases it can be cheaper than a voice call, especially when roaming," he said. "Number two, we found that 60 to 65 percent of our customers are in an active WiFi zone at all times so they can use WiFi to bypass that which makes it almost zero cost as well. So that's how we see from our perspective, doing voice, that's what we're doing to combat that issue."
Small and medium-sized businesses may be turning a blind eye to a significant issue with transitioning to the cloud. Data ownership is a major issue. For this reason, companies need to consider the importance of legal advice to assist with the development of their cloud computing programs. They also need to examine the cloud service provider’s terms very closely. Cloud service contracts need to detail exactly how a service provider can use a client’s data as well as stating who has ownership of data being transferred to the cloud. Businesses also need to clarify that their data cannot be locked into the provider’s cloud service, and that they are free to withdraw their data whenever they wish to do so.
One of the major issues surrounding cloud services is the security of a business’s data while it is stored in a remote facility. John Howie, COO of the Cloud Security Alliance, pointed out that "when you are running in the cloud and you are shifting your data and applications to a cloud provider, you have no visibility over risk within their infrastructure. You can't cite controls or a defense-in-depth approach, because the cloud provider does that."
The best way a company can protect itself is to team up with reputable providers and to avoid unintentionally compromising data security by rushing to escape limitations caused by metered bandwidth. (CU) Link