VoIP Business and Virtual PBX

A clearer view of cloud computing security now that the haze is gone

The cloud is here to stay because most organizations are looking to the cloud for "extension" -- the capability to take their business in new directions faster, to put it more exactly than simply as a method of cost management. And now that the hype haze has disappeared, we have a much clearer picture of how to get the best from the cloud.

This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, however readers should note it will likely favor the submitter's approach.

Crucial time for IT managers

This is a crucial time for IT managers. The cloud computing and consumerization innovation waves are changing the distribution of IT control: Users are taking more control of the devices they use; business managers are taking more control of the budgets; and service suppliers are taking more control of the data they handle. CIOs and IT managers who want to contribute to their organization's acceleration in 2012 need to be able to coordinate these different components in a much wider scope than ever earlier to retain control. It's time to adapt or be swept aside.

While traditional information and communications research approaches focus on owning and controlling resources, assets and contracts, a practical and balanced benefit-risk cloud assessment involves new ways of thinking and a shift of focus on accessing evolving services.

Ultimately, the benefits of moving to cloud architecture are widely accepted and potentially huge: increased agility due to rapid provisioning and de-provisioning of resources, significantly reduced capital expenditure and fixed costs, easy availability of services to a mobile workforce, less time spent managing innovation and software and more time spent managing information and data to drive business innovations. However the key, clearly, is to strategically and effectively manage the inherent security challenges.

BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving clients in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its clients for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and Internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services.

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