Taking Cloud Computing to a Higher Level

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

Worlds Apart on Cloud Security

IT and compliance executives are not on the same page when it comes to cloud security.

Cloud computing is on the minds of almost everybody involved in IT these days, but what many people may not realize is that it's also a topic of a presidential commission, dubbed Cloud2, that was formed by the TechAmerica Foundation.

In a recent webcast that can be found here, W. Wyatt Starnes, a member of the commission and vice president of advanced concepts for Harris Corp., says the commission has outlined three major goals for advancing the adoption of cloud. The first is increasing transparency into the service levels being provided, the second is transforming the way IT is managed by providing additional training, while the third is coming up with ways of enabling data in the cloud to flow easily across national boundaries.

To make sure that all actually happens, Starnes says the commission is urging the adoption of more robust security and assurance standards to foster the development of identity management ecosystems, strengthen data breach legislation and invest in more joint research across the public and private sector. What the commission is really highlighting is all the areas that are barriers to adoption for cloud computing, which Starnes says in one way or another really come down to trust.

There's obviously a lot of good work being done in this regard by organizations such as the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). But the real challenge is going to be getting all those standards and technologies adopted internationally. Right now, with almost every major country, there is a lot of investment being made in cloud computing. But unless cloud computing can really be deployed on a global level, we risk creating silos of cloud computing that are fundamentally incompatible with one another. And given the fact that the global economy is dependent on IT, that inability to collaborate could lead to a level of economic stagnation that ultimately is not in the best interest of anybody concerned.

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