Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

What Cloud Computing can deliver — Part 2, on better security and compliance

How Cloud Computing Delivers Improved Security and Compliance

The centralization of apps, data, and management that’s an essential part of well-conceived and well-managed Cloud environments also helps make them more secure. Why? Because security policy is easier to enforce, threats to apps and data are easier to detect and address.

Since Cloud data and apps are centralized in a data center, it’s actually easier (as compared to traditional siloed IT infrastructures) to establish effective security policy, monitor compliance, and intervene quickly and often preventatively when there are issues

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What Cloud Computing can deliver — Part 1

graph on an iPad

In the right Cloud environment, IT performance goes up while IT costs go down.

Here’s how IT performance goes up:

  1. Applications are hosted on centralized virtual servers in a data center, so …
    • Each department or end-user no longer needs their own copy of the app,
    • There’s just one version of the app, designed to be sufficiently flexible and customizable so all can use it on a variety of devices, and
    • Services are easily scalable, more secure, and more reliable.
  2. Applications can be quickly and automatically provided on demand wherever they’re needed, so …
    • IT resources are optimized,
    • The entire IT environment is more responsive and flexible without adding work or cost, and
    • Access to resources improves without new implementation/deployment risks.
  3. And end-users and their departments — as well as trusted partners — can be networked far more cost-effectively, regardless of location, via a standardized platform that enables integration and process automation between internal departments and partners.

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Welcome to the brave new world of hybrid IT

Not so long ago, I came across a press release from Gartner, the analyst firm, which quoted one of its vice presidents saying:

“IT organizations that do not match the request for IT as a service run the risk of internal customers bypassing the IT organization and consuming IT services from the external cloud, thereby placing the company at greater risk.”

It turns out that the analysts at Gartner see a world of hybrid IT architectures. Their view is that IT organizations are becoming brokers of IT services, some of which are hosted internally, some of which reside in externally hosted Clouds.

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Cloud Computing’s payoffs — Part 2, or why Cloud Computing is inevitable

It’s pretty clear that mobility will be a major factor in why organizations of all sizes turn to Cloud Computing. The numbers speak for themselves:

More than 2.5 billion users will connect to the Internet over the next several years via more than 10 billion devices. By 2015, this demand will require 8 times the storage capacity of 2010 as well as 16 times the network capacity and upwards of 20 times the compute capacity.

So here’s how it’ll go…

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Cloud Computing’s payoffs — Part 1

Graph showing the payoff from Cloud Computing

For years, traditional siloed IT has been so rigid that even cast-in-concrete, one-size fits-all cloud services offer important improvements. This IBM study from last year shows where those improvements are: In flexibility, scalability, and efficiency — as well as reducing costs and providing the ability to ensure business continuity in the face of unanticipated disruption.

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Prosperity in 2012: Best-performing organizations use cloud computing

I recently came across a cloud computing benefit/risk study conducted in the first half of 2011 by the IT Policy Compliance Group (ITPCG). It shows that best-performing organizations (which see higher profits and suffer fewer business disruptions and less data loss) use cloud computing significantly more than poor-performing organizations.

More than two-thirds of best performers use cloud computing — about half opting for private clouds, while 25% use hybrid clouds and another 25% use public clouds. By contrast, only 9% of worst performers use cloud computing.

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Quest CTO Mike Dillon to speak at Global Conference on Disaster Management

Our Chief Technology Officer, Mike Dillon, will be part of the all-day Global Conference on Disaster Management on November 10 at the Marriott Union Square Hotel in San Francisco.

Mike will discuss how cloud/managed services providers can make all the difference when it comes to protecting and preserving the information and digital applications on which your business depends.

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Your SLA: Forgotten secret to getting the most from your cloud provider

To get the most out of your managed or cloud service, you need to invest the time in negotiating a good service-level agreement.

The SLA is a key part of the contract between you and your provider, since it describes the levels of service being provided and the metrics used to ensure your provider delivers full value. And the right SLA with the right service provider can mitigate cloud risks and help your business flourish.

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Maximizing cloud computing for small business — securely

This Wednesday — October 12 — I’ll be participating in the Small Business Technology Tour that’s coming to Salt Lake City, UT, where I’ll be talking about how cloud computing can boost small business productivity and help keep your operations secure.

I’ll be joined by a couple of other experts, and together we’ll talk about the benefits of cloud computing for small businesses: why and how cloud computing can reduce your capital expenditures, help you spend less on IT operations, provide you access to the deep resources and skills of a reliable cloud services provider, and improve your IT security, privacy, and availability.

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2 tricks that can deliver the right service provider treats

It’s a 21st-century truth that even small businesses need complex information technology infrastructures to thrive. Which is why so many enterprises, both large and small, depend on the expertise of independent providers of managed and cloud services.

But using managed and cloud services can be risky, too. How reliable is the service? Where’s your data? And what about security?

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