Wednesday, November 30, 2011 11:39:10 AM
While businesses and federal agencies adopt cloud computing services at an increasingly rapid rate, other industries across the globe continue to weigh the pros and cons of the technology. In Britain, CRN reports that business leaders recently met to discuss the potential risks and benefits of cloud computing among U.K. organizations.
According to the source, the overall sentiment was established to weigh heavier on the benefits side, especially because of the ability the technology offers businesses to keep with the times in a cost-efficient and streamlined manner. Additionally, the participants touched on the question of cloud security.
"Security is about individuals," former head of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group's EMEA global transaction services Anne Boden told the news source. "It is about whether somebody has followed a procedure. I use the cloud because I can trust somebody else to do the backup and upgrade the software, for example. I cannot trust myself to do that, on the other hand, because I have too many other things to think about."
Experts have cited the cloud's benefits to small businesses specifically, as the start-up costs of creating and subsequent maintenance of data centers, servers, general IT infrastructure and software can be monumental, and simply too much to expand at a comfortable pace for a new organization. The cloud offers an alternative to this, namely the pay-per-use service models popular among current vendors.
One example of the potential for cost reduction could be seen on a broader scale with the U.S. Government's Federal Cloud First Initiative. According to the Office of the Federal Chief Information Officer's website, proponents of the policy expect to drastically reduce IT spend in a short time period through rapid and swift adoption of cloud services.
One of the first to adopt the services, the General Services Administration, announced earlier this year that it expects the change to cloud-based email services to save it $15 million over the next five years.
As CRN reported, the business experts present at the U.K. event, sponsored by Entrepreneurship Week, agreed that the cloud is most helpful in today's tough economic times. "Once when you moved offices you typically ended up spending £100,000 to £250,000 on upgrading all the IT," entrepreneur and former television actor James Caan told the news provider. "Now you can have a bigger, stronger, smarter system that will cost substantially less. There is no question that will have a substantial impact on business."
-McAfee Cloud Security