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Facing Cloud Computing Challenges in 2011

by: Ronald Escanlar

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 |

Cloud computing is set to develop into a more mature business strategy this year, but as with any emergent technology, cloud computing has its share of challenges that stakeholders must face together and solve.

Challenges in cloud computing

One of the world’s leading outsourcing firms, Alsbridge, Inc., is currently sponsoring CIO Roundtable Summits this year to gather inputs from industry experts and participants and identify outsourcing challenges. The recent roundtable summit held in Dallas focused on cloud computing - the types of businesses that can thrive on the “cloud”; risk mitigation with respect to regulatory compliance and data security; and strategies that IT organizations can take to take advantage of cloud computing.

Challenge #1 – Tighter coordination among IT and business organizations

Business organizations still see IT executives as barriers to development, and take to “The Cloud” as the cure-all, be-all for their IT woes. Roundtable discussions began to focus on how to adjust this perception by creating better, more open communication channels between IT executives and their business counterparts in order to engage practical decisions on cloud computing.

IT executives can better help their respective organizations by writing position papers contextualizing cloud computing within their companies. A participant suggested employing the Keep It Short and Simple (KISS) principle in explaining the cloud to business leaders.

Some participants suggested that involving external resources, such as consulting firms, analyst research, organizations, and conferences, can help in clarifying the cloud to business leaders, and even IT executives, who find cloud computing unappealing.

Challenge #2 – Data Privacy and Security, plus Regulatory Compliance

For over a year now, Alsbridge has been busy compiling research data on cloud computing. Data privacy, security, and regulatory compliance are top concerns for more than 70 percent of IT executives surveyed. Roundtable participants say that conducting due diligence about IT requirements and mapping them accordingly can minimize the risks. On regulatory compliance, the group suggested that companies operating in multiple jurisdictions should design and develop their strategies around the requirements of the most strict locale in which they operate. On data privacy and security, a participant broached the idea of isolating sensitive data rather than securing the whole enterprise. There was definitely a need for thorough due diligence on cloud service providers, say the participants, in order for business to truly take advantage of cloud computing and related services.

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