Recently I spoke with a sales consultant for a company involved in cloud computing. Armed with a fair amount of experience in marketing Cloud services, I found myself inquiring on buyer perceptions. I discovered that our experiences crossed paths on the concept of security. I asked if buyers feel the cloud is a secure alternative for data storage comparable to saving information on a traditional network or an everyday laptop/desktop hard drive.

“That’s the difference between younger professionals and the older folks I meet with,” He explained. Unfortunately, senior decision makers are often confused about how data storage works. They feel that because they can’t literally touch a file server, they can’t trust their important and sensitive documents will be saved securely.

As a younger person, I would agree with the comment. My concern with the cloud is not so much based on security – there are reputable companies out there who guarantee stored information will be safe from hackers. My anxiety is based more around the ease by which I can access my information. Saving to a hard drive insures that my information can be opened any time I need it (on or offline). Cloud service providers need to be able to ensure that my information is not only safe, but can be accessed easily as well.

What is your stand on cloud computing? Obviously there are pros and cons to using it as a primary platform. Feel free to leave a comment.

-Lee Sumner, Research Analyst

 

1 reply
  1. Paul Kurrle
    Paul Kurrle says:

    Cloud storage either SaaS, Paas, IaaS, is only as good as your password. Data storage services and security companies (think McAffee and Symantec) job is to secure your data at an audit level for compliance. The key to to security and compliance is to know where your data lives, who is doing actual the storage. Cloud storage risk can come from syndication where one company puts a white label on a service, the reseller relabels and sells it to an SMB. The risk is there is no direct billing and the data does not live on the resellers servers. The SMB can take advantage of the cost savings from Cloud syndication. A company requiring audit and compliance ITIL needs to consider buying Cloud service from a direct or wholesale service provider. The whole sale service provider takes the risk and makes the sizable capital investment (often +$1m) to provide the storage platform, and may not have the track record or branding of a reseller. These smaller companies have the agility to onboard new services and build market presence through syndication allowing for national brands to be resellers. Then national brands need syndication to be in pilot to build a customer base and prove the business model, because they do not have the agility for go to market because of the system integrations, testing and deployment models take years to execute. The pitfall for the reseller, they do not own the customer and they could be stuck with a syndication model that does not permit for additional services to be added to shopping cart or interoperate without a major platform upgrade, unless they host thier own platform. Confused? The market is too, look for Gartner to provide Cloud Service platform guidance. I think there will be a confluence of service from IBM, Cisco and Microsoft partners to push to a reseller, direct and private cloud platform solutions.

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