I keep reading things that tell me how secure the cloud is. The arguments usually run along these lines:
- Cloud vendors know more about security than you do, because security so critical to their business.
- There haven't been any security problems with cloud solutions; in fact, cloud vendors will sometimes point out they're doing better at uptime and security than most corporations.
- .Companies are already using cloud data storage, why would they balk at integrating on-site applications with cloud applications?
I remain unconvinced. On points No. 1 and 2, I say: Wait. When I first signed onto Gmail, it was me and two other people I knew. It never gave me a moment's trouble. Then it hit some unknown critical mass and then -- what do you know? -- outages. The service is still excellent, but nonetheless, there are problems.
As for No. 3, well, maybe that data's not very sensitive. Or possibly if you're storing data in the cloud, you might not be that concerned about integrating with on-site data. And you're apparently in the minority.
Analysts say 75 percent of CIO and IT executives say security is their No. 1 concern about cloud computing, according to this Jitterbit press release.
And that's coming from a company that offers integration via the cloud.
Jitterbit drew on its experience helping others navigate integration of cloud resources with existing IT systems to write five integration tips for cloud computing.
Not surprisingly, "address security concerns" made the list:
Because integrated cloud computing involves moving sensitive data between the cloud and on-premise networks, guaranteeing security is vital. When vetting an integration solution, determine which standards are supported for securing the data in transit. Keep in mind that as enterprises move more processes to the cloud over time, the volume of sensitive data flowing to and from the cloud will only increase.
The article also advises companies:
- Create a strategy and a set of (realistic) goals upfront.
- Plan for an integrated cloud strategy, so you don't wind up duplicating silos in the cloud.
- Get serious about autonomy, which basically means to recognize that SaaS moves applications and integration out of IT. It warns: "Cloud integration should complement the model by minimizing development, implementation and maintenance resources, allowing users to focus on their core business." This is probably the most self-serving point from the press release, since a hosted integration solution would seem to be the only way to address this problem. (And Forrester predicts"minimal success" for integration via the cloud.)
- Maximize connectivity options.
Thankfully, the press release offers this advice without pushing Jitterbit's own SaaS solution.
It also wraps up with this cautionary quote from Sharam Sasson, president and CEO of Jitterbit:
Today's enterprise cloud initiatives require decoupled data systems working together - without the need for personnel and other resources to set up and maintain them - making integration key to success.
I agree, though I probably would've amended it to say, "making secure integration the key to success."