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Cloud computing interoperability, a greater challenge than Security

SI Team
Sunday, July 1, 2012
SI Team
The greatest challenge facing longer-term adoption of cloud computing services is not security, but rather cloud interoperability and data portability, say cloud computing experts from IEEE, the world's largest technical professional association. At the same time, IEEE's experts say cloud providers could reassure customers by improving the tools they offer enterprise customers to give them more control over their own data and applications while offering a security guarantee. Many public cloud networks are configured as closed systems and are not designed to interact with each other. The lack of integration between these networks makes it difficult for organizations to consolidate their IT systems in the cloud and realize productivity gains and cost savings. To overcome this challenge, industry standards must be developed to help cloud service providers design interoperable platforms and enable data portability.

According to industry research firm IDC, the revenue from public cloud computing services is expected to reach $55.5 billion by 2014, up from $16 billion in 2009. Cloud computing plays an important role in people's professional and personal lives by supporting a variety of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications used to store healthcare records, critical business documents, music and e-book purchases, social media content, and more. However, the lack of interoperability still presents challenges for organizations interested in consolidating a host of enterprise IT systems on the cloud.

As more organizations migrate IT services and systems to the cloud as a result of improved interoperability and portability, the market will reach an economic tipping point. On average, it might cost an organization about $500 per user to manage an enterprise e-mail system in-house, says Dr. Pasik, an IEEE Senior member. Compare that to the cost of running a cloud based enterprise e-mail service, which might be around $50 per user. That's a ten-fold economic impact that makes a strong business case for cloud technology. And it is removing a system from your network that isn't directly tied to most organizations core competencies, so why commit resources to supporting it internally?

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