Cloud computing by all accounts looks to be the future of IT. Cloud-based solutions and approaches offer many benefits to consumers and enterprises alike; these include greater flexibility, reduced costs, increased reliability and environmental benefits. There are, however, a number of obstacles – actual and perceived – that stand between some entities and cloud adoption. Identifying these barriers is the first step towards addressing them.
According to a white paper produced by the European Parliament, some of the key barriers to cloud adoption by both small-to-medium enterprises and individual consumers are:
Here the fear is that unauthorized individuals could gain access to sensitive data: through interception while being transmitted, for example. This is especially worrying for enterprises, who may store sensitive industrial or financial information, personnel records and client details on the cloud.
2: Data Security.
As well as unauthorized access, the possibility of the unauthorized alteration or deletion of data may represent a serious consideration for cloud users.
3: Provider Lock-in.
A possibility exists for cloud providers to hinder transfers from their own services to a competitor’s, either through the use of inflexible contracts or through technical means such as insisting that clients use particular software.
4: Lack of Standardization
These is a distinct lack of standardization across different providers, affecting software and hardware, as well as factors such as security protocols.
5: Jurisdictional Issues
The applicable laws relating to information stored on the cloud may vary between jurisdictions. Issues around law enforcement access to data are also different. This creates uncertainty for prospective cloud users.
The Bottom Line
While all of the above are legitimate reasons for fearing the cloud, enterprise-hosting providers generally offer robust compliance and technical solutions to overcome these obstacles. Using the latest cloud software, including OnApp Xen and VMware, companies like Virtual Internet are creating rock-solid platforms for both small and large enterprises to ‘test’ and ‘deploy’ on the cloud.
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