June 24, 2010
Two of the most risk-averse vertical industries recently announced big commitments to cloud computing. Does this mean the cloud's security challenges have been solved?
Let's face it, financial and healthcare firms aren't known as big risk takers when it comes to security. Yet both of those industries are indicating a strong interest in investing in cloud computing strategies. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and IBM recently conducted a survey of approximately 250 IT and business managers on Wall Street. The results demonstrate an increasing interest in IT investment among respondents, after a couple of years of reluctance. According to a release by SIFMA, the financial industry has been holding back due to a lack of IT talent and the intimidating cost of implementing new technologies. However, "To overcome some of these challenges, the industry is showing a larger appetite for disruptive technologies such as cloud computing (61 percent) to force business model change," according to the release. A similar surge in interest in the cloud is in occurring in the healthcare industry. According to a recent news story at InformationWeek.com, "Nearly one-third of healthcare sector decision makers said they are using cloud applications, and 73% said they are planning to move more applications to the cloud, according to a recent report by Accenture." It's not that security in the cloud isn't still a concern for both industries. But it's a known, and perhaps better understood, factor. An Accenture expert quoted in the news story says healthcare firms are beginning to realize that cloud providers actually may offer more robust security "than is available in-house." And another InformationWeek news story cited several Wall Street IT professionals, speaking at a conference last month in Las Vegas, to the effect that cloud computing is compelling especially in the form of "private clouds," that is, cloud-type services delivered from behind the corporate firewall. So, while security is still a legitimate concern, it doesn't seem to be the show stopper it used to be, as organizations calculate security factors into their cloud strategies.Two of the most risk-averse vertical industries recently announced big commitments to cloud computing. Does this mean the cloud's security challenges have been solved?
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