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Challenges and Barriers to Adoption

Although the cloud presents tremendous opportunity and value for organizations, the usual IT requirements (security, integration, and so forth) still apply. In addition, some new issues come about because of the multi-tenant nature (information from multiple companies may reside on the same physical hardware) of cloud computing, the merger of applications and data, and the fact that a company’s workloads might reside outside of their physical on-premise datacenter. This section examines five main challenges that cloud computing must address in order to deliver on its promise.

Security

Many organizations are uncomfortable with storing their data and applications on systems they do not control. Migrating workloads to a shared infrastructure increases the potential for unauthorized exposure. Consistency around authentication, identity management, compliance, and access technologies will become increasingly important. To reassure their customers, cloud providers must offer a high degree of transparency into their operations.

Data and Application Interoperability

It is important that both data and applications systems expose standard interfaces. Organizations will want the flexibility to create new solutions enabled by data and applications that interoperate with each other regardless of where they reside (public clouds, private clouds that reside within an organization’s firewall, traditional IT environments or some combination). Cloud providers need to support interoperability standards so that organizations can combine any cloud provider’s capabilities into their solutions.

Data and Application Portability

Without standards, the ability to bring systems back in-house or choose another cloud provider will be limited by proprietary interfaces. Once an organization builds or ports a system to use a cloud provider’s offerings, bringing that system back in-house will be difficult and expensive.

Governance and Management

As IT departments introduce cloud solutions in context of their traditional datacenter, new challenges arise. Standardized mechanisms for dealing with lifecycle management, licensing, and chargeback for shared cloud infrastructure are just some of the management and governance issues cloud providers must work together to resolve.

Metering and Monitoring

Business leaders will want to use multiple cloud providers in their IT solutions and will need to monitor system performance across these solutions. Providers must supply consistent formats to monitor cloud applications and service performance and make them compatible with existing monitoring systems. It is clear that the opportunity for those who effectively utilize cloud computing in their organizations is great. However, these opportunities are not without risks and barriers. It is our belief that the value of cloud computing can be fully realized only when cloud providers ensure that the cloud is open.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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