However, in a recent survey by global IT association ISACA, 30% of the 3,700 respondents said cloud computing is one of the top issues expected to impact their enterprise’s security in the next 12 months. Clearly, a good understanding of cloud is critical, as is effective governance over the cloud.
The cloud is not one thing; it covers a wide spectrum of types of service and delivery models ranging from in-house virtual servers to software accessed by multiple organizations over the internet. For example, an organization can run the IT services in-house; this is the most flexible but usually the most expensive arrangement.
It can contract the running of the services through a managed service or hosting agreement; this is less flexible but may be cheaper. Infrastructure as a service provides a commoditized and packaged hosting service, which requires no capital expenditure.
A similar spectrum applies to business applications; an organization can develop its own applications, these can be designed to the organization’s exact requirements, but it is very expensive. It can use commercial applications, which are tailored to the organization’s needs; this is usually cheaper, but still involves the management and running costs. Software as a Service provides access to a packaged application which is managed and run by the service provider and can be bought on a charge per use basis.
Choose the right type of cloud service
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides basic computing resources that the customer can use to run software (both operating systems and applications) and to store data. IaaS allows the customer to transfer an existing workload to the cloud with minimal if any change needed. The customer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but remains responsible for managing the OS and applications. IaaS removes the need to buy, house and maintain the physical servers and can provide the ability for an organisation to respond quickly to changing demand.
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