Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  18 Jul 2012

INFOTECH: Cloud Computing is Here – But Vendors Need to Build Trust


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Cloud computing is here - and it is an inexorable, and growing, trend. Companies that intend harnessing the cloud to offer services to their clients need to ensure that they back these offers with safety and security – and it is a safety that must be viewed as safe as Fort Knox.

This is the opinion of Nolan Sandham, Managing Director at ACTNET, the enterprise output management and content solutions company.

“Trust in the cloud is on the lips and minds of almost everyone today – and this trust centers on security, control, accountability and privacy. Those companies that fall short – even slightly – of empirically providing this security, can kiss their hopes goodbye of ever operating as a service provider, of any sort, in the cloud computing environment. It is as simple as that. There needs to be more trust between customers and vendors.”

Sandham said that just as users had to slowly start trusting on-line ordering and on-line shopping, so, too would people have to learn to trust cloud computing. Vendors who create this trust will be the ones that steal the lead in this burgeoning market.

“Trust is at the core of any remaining resistance that some enterprise customers still have with the cloud. One of the concerns from the market is to do with the cloud-computing model itself. There are, for instance, still many applications that must pass payment card industry muster, or approval.

“It must be remembered,” said Sandham, “that payment card industry standards are rigorous. So the question on the mind of many people is, simply, can any of these applications – which are critical – be trusted on the cloud‘”

Detractors have a fair amount of doubt, believing that a cloud is arguably dangerously amorphous – and it will be particularly hard to control, or to audit.

“After all, how do you audit something that is virtual‘ Logically, cloud computing does essentially morph into something that is more tangible – but the feeling is that you cannot touch it. This gives off an element of danger – of distrust. So it is even more important, given this perception, that vendors go the extra mile to ensure that all information stored – or relayed by them – in the cloud computing environment, is utterly safe.”

It will be hard to provide certainty with virtualized file systems – but, with time, this can be achieved. It can be achieved if vendors realise just how important this is- and that they don’t enter, willy-nilly, into this high-demand market. Users will be unforgiving if mistakes are made – no matter how small.

“Trust will dissipate rapidly and vendors will have very little leg room to make mistakes – any mistakes. At the end of the day can users absolutely trust that a company’s virtualized data file systems are not muddled up with someone else’s data‘ This is the question on everyone’s minds – and vendors have to set these worries at rest.”

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