There is no disputing that both enterprises and service providers are embracing cloud. What’s different today is that not only are telcos cloud providers, but enterprises and governments are also becoming cloud providers through a community cloud model.
A community cloud model is a collaborative effort where infrastructure is shared and jointly accessed by several organizations from a specific group that share specific computing concerns such as, security, compliance or jurisdiction considerations. The community cloud can be either on-premises or off-premises, and can be governed by the participating organizations or by a third-party managed service provider.
A community cloud model helps offset common challenges across universities, government agencies and enterprises,such as cost pressures, technology complexity, and spending requirements, security concerns and a lack of sector specific services from service providers.
I recently had the chance to participate in a new Cloud Insights Video Podcast to discuss how CIOs can transform their enterprise IT delivery models and how Cisco is supporting service providers in developing their cloud execution strategies.
User Organizations Are Becoming Cloud Vendors
CIOs have recognized that greater business outcomes can be delivered for their customers by working together to resolve common challenges and realize common opportunities. It’s also becoming clear to them that using a community cloud model for cloud services is an innovative way to help deliver on these outcomes.
As we’ve worked with CIOs in governments and universities across various geographies, , we have focused on building a shared understanding of what can be achieved by moving common services, which are not seen as differentiated to the business, into a community cloud model. For example, all universities offer human resources as a service, and student enrollment services and financial aid services are not considered differentiated. So why not have it as a shared community service that reduces cost outlay and redirects the savings to innovative learning experiences for students?
In today’s business landscape, cloud adoption and deployment is more than just a technical discussion. It’s really a choice about how to operate your business, regardless of what industry or vertical your organization is affiliated with.
However, as a former CIO, I understand that many CIOs are more concerned with the challenges they face when moving to the cloud than the benefits they can achieve.
For example, in the past, all of your company information and applications were locked-up behind a firewall. As such, none of your customers or remote employees could gain access to your network. Now, through clouds, you can put your business out in the world – where your customers, employees, partners and more can gain access. It’s truly making business more accessible, in an incredibly flexible way – but it can be a daunting process.
Recently, I had the chance to participate in a new Cloud Insights Video Podcast and share how all verticals face similar challenges when it comes to cloud. It probably comes as no surprise that the key areas of concern are security and privacy.
Security and privacy are very real challenges, and it’s the CIOs job to address them, but he/she doesn’t have to go at it alone. Businesses should look for a cloud service provider to become a trusted business partner. When a business is looking for a cloud service provider to host its application or data, the main questions that arise are:
How are we going to ensure security?
How will I maintain control over the data and applications that I put in the cloud?
How do I maintain visibility?
When these questions about control and visibility are answered, it inevitably leads to trust. And when a CIO feels there is a level of trust for information and application security within the cloud, it ripples down through the organization, ultimately empowering customer relationships.
It’s transformational when a CEO can say to customers, “We do have that level of control and visibility and you can look to us to take care of your information.”
As organizations in various verticals look to move past security concerns, CIOs need to find a partner they trust and start a conversation, they may be surprised at how quickly some of their concerns can be mitigated.
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Cisco Solutions for Open and Secure Intercloud Workload Migration. Join our webcast to learn how the Cisco InterCloud solution helps ensure the same network security, quality of service (QoS), and access control policies previously enforced in the data center are implemented in the public cloud. The webcast is available on demand.
Security concerns around cloud adoption can keep many IT and business leaders up at night. This blog series examines how organizations can take control of their cloud strategies. The first blog of this series discussing the role of data security in the cloud can be found here. The second blog of this series highlighting drivers for managed security and what to look for in a cloud provider can be found here.
In today’s workplace, employees are encouraged to find the most agile ways to accomplish business: this extends beyond using their own devices to work on from anywhere, anytime and at any place to now choosing which cloud services to use.
Why Bring Your Own Service Needs to be on Infosec’s Radar
In many instances, most of this happens with little IT engagement. In fact, according to a 2013 Fortinet Survey, Generation Y users are increasingly willing to skirt such policies to use their own devices and cloud services. Couple this user behavior with estimates from Cisco’s Global Cloud Index that by the year 2017, over two thirds of all data center traffic will be based in the cloud proves that cloud computing is undeniable and unstoppable.
With this information in mind, how should IT and InfoSec teams manage their company’s data when hundreds of instances of new cloud deployments happen each month without their knowledge?
Additionally, what provisions need to be in place to limit risks from data being stored, processed and managed by third parties?
Here are a few considerations for IT and InfoSec teams as they try to secure our world of many clouds:
Cisco Live, May 18-24, 2014, is quickly approaching and registration is open. This is the 25th anniversary of Cisco Live and we return to the Bay Area at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Educational sessions are organized into technology tracks to make it easy to find the topics that most interest you. With network and data security being top of mind, I’d like to highlight the Security technology track’s exciting content lineup. Read More »
The first blog of this series discussing the role of data security in the cloud can be found here.
In 2014 and onward, security professionals can expect to see entire corporate perimeters extended to the cloud, making it essential to choose a service provider that can deliver the security that your business needs.
While organizations can let business needs trade down security we’ve begun to see how a recent slew of data breaches are encouraging greater vigilance around security concerns. For example, a recent CloudTweaks article highlights the need for organizations to be confident in their choice of cloud providers and their control over data. IT leaders have the power to control where sensitive information is stored. They also have the power to choose how, where and by whom information can be accessed.
An important driver in mitigating risk and increasing security is to ask the right questions.
Institute Control By Asking the Right Questions
However, adding to fears about ceding the control of data to the cloud is lack of transparency and accountability about how cloud hosting partner/ providers secure data and ensure a secure and compliant infrastructure. Cloud consuming organizations often don’t ask enough questions about what is contained in their service-level agreements, and about the process for updating security software and patching both network and API vulnerabilities.
Organizations need reassurance that a cloud provider has a robust set of policies, process and than is using automated as well as the latest technologies to detect, thwart and mitigate attacks, while in progress as well as be prepared to mitigate after an attack.
An important driver in mitigating risk and increasing security is to ask the right questions. When evaluating cloud service providers, IT leaders need to ask: Read the full blog here.