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Clouds Here and There

The business case for public, private and hybrid models

Illustration by Travis Anderson

Cloud Considerations

Although acceptance of cloud computing is growing, many companies aren’t yet comfortable having business-critical aspects in a shared environment and prefer to keep them on their premises. Closely held customer and transactional data—for now—will likely stay in customers’ own data centers.

Companies are increasingly willing to work with some assets, such as sales-force data, remotely in a cloud environment. This lets sales reps share customer information, opportunities and scheduling in a cloud, which has broader reach and can be accessed anywhere, anytime. This can become more cost-effective over time.

Rather than invest in servers and storage inside customers’ facilities for high-availability or disaster-recovery strategies, it might make sense to have someone else provide this service.

Security Issues

“Multiple surveys have shown that the top inhibitor to moving forward with cloud computing is security,” Kugler says. “There are five unique security focus areas in the IBM Security Framework that we’ve organized our solutions around, each with their own value proposition and financial payback.”

The security elements most critical in cloud computing include:

  • People and identity. Mitigate the risks associated with user access to corporate resources.
  • Data and information. Understand, deploy and properly test controls for access to and use of sensitive business data.
  • Application and process. Keep applications secure, protected from malicious or fraudulent use, and hardened against failure.
  • Network, server and end point. Optimize service availability by mitigating risks to network components.
  • Physical infrastructure. Provide actionable intelligence on the desired state of physical infrastructure security and make improvements.


Tom Brandes is a freelance writer for variety of subjects, including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, sustainability and more.



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