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Enterprises see value in public cloud services

Enterprise adoption of public cloud services is mainly about realistic trade-offs, according to Ovum.

A recently published Ovum report seeks to restore some balance to the cloud discussion by sharing the positive public cloud adoption experiences and lessons learned by 10 corporate and government enterprises.

Dr Steve Hodgkinson, Research Director for Ovum’s Asia Pacific IT research and advisory services, said: “Practical and balanced benefit/risk assessments allow enterprises to see value in public cloud services.”

While enterprises’ use of public cloud services is now widespread and growing in Australia, perceptions of risks have become somewhat overstated as a result of cautionary statements made by regulators and security authorities. The practical reality is that many enterprises in both the private and public sectors are using public cloud services every day and regard them as a useful addition to the ICT portfolio.

Hodgkinson observed, “Public cloud services were typically not chosen to save costs. In most cases the service was selected because it was better and faster, even though some changes to information management practices may have been required. One of the most strongly valued benefits was iterative functional evolution. The cloud service addressed user frustrations with the slow cycle of innovation of past ICT solutions as well as user expectations that modern Internet applications should be constantly evolving in terms of their functionality and support for innovations such as social networking and mobility.”

The report debunks the common misconception that data sovereignty issues are a major barrier to the use of public cloud services. The report found that “concerns over data security and regulatory compliance were taken seriously, but were not viewed as “showstoppers” as long as careful thought is given to the categories of data that will be stored in the cloud and to identifying specific risk factors and contractual and process mitigations. Not all public cloud services are equal in terms of their ability to meet enterprise reliability and security requirements, so the biggest risk mitigation is the choice of a high quality enterprise-grade cloud services provider.”

Dr Hodgkinson states, “New trade-offs, however, between the benefits and risks of public cloud services are required, along with a willingness to ‘think outside your boxes’. Traditional ICT approaches are focused on owning and controlling resources, assets, and contracts for specified services. The public cloud enables the focus to shift to accessing evolving services and participating in dynamic Internet ecosystems. The benefit for CIOs is less time spent managing technology and software and more time spent managing information and data to drive business innovations”.

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