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Cloud Computing in 2013

 

The number of global IT services dealing with a cloud computing element has apparently tripled since 2010. There is a great potential for growth and momentum in software-as-a-service (SaaS), particularly for human resources (HR) and customer relationship management (CRM). It is no surprise then that cloud based finance and human resources applications are spending priorities for a significant minority of UK IT professionals in 2013 with 50% of those asked planning to prioritise spending on cloud applications.

Even though cloud computing may be an efficient solution to store, manage and process data, there are some factors that limit it from being a preferred option. In a recent TechTarget IT spending priorities survey, the majority of those that responded mentioned security and reliability as a cause of concern, resulting in them looking to alternative solutions. By using a public cloud for all or part of your IT infrastructure you are required to trust a third party to store your data and provide services that are usually essential to your business. When you hand over data to a public cloud provider not only do you lose direct control over it but there is the security issue of having sensitive data stored on an infrastructure shared with competitors. It can be a lengthy process when dealing with these large organisations to solve arising issues which can be frustrating and potentially cause delays in your day to day operations.

However organisations can improve their security by ensuring they can identify every web application in use. Being able to identify the weaknesses and threats in these web applications will allow you to reduce visible risks by conducting regular audits.Organisations should also ensure they can identify all the devices accessing their networks to control access, find vulnerabilities and configuration issues and to rectify these problems.

Organisations considering cloud computing services should assess potential service providers to ensure their ethos and approach are in sync. Despite some resistance, cloud is a viable option for virtually all businesses but care needs to be taken when choosing your cloud provider to ensure all potential benefits are exploited and all potential risks assessed.

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