‘Big Brother’ and the impact on Cloud adoption

No doubt that the events over the past year have changed both business and IT decision makers view, and approach, to the adoption of Cloud Computing. The revelations and subsequent uncovering of security agencies monitoring and surveillance strategies reminded me of once reading George Orwell’s famous book ‘1984’. I subsequently discovered that the sales of ‘1984’ rocketed by over 300% following the revelations. Not bad for a book written in 1949, but this book was supposed to be fictional, not factual right? As it turns out it’s Prophetic, and, no surprise, it’s still on the examination curriculum in the UK. To be fair, unlike ‘1984’, we don’t have anything like the level of surveillance and control described in the book, which was uncompromising and absolute. However, we do live in a world where the balance  between security and civil liberty is so easily disturbed. This is even more visible in the digital age and we are still learning how to control and protect our digital footprint.

 

This week I had meetings and calls with various people at NTT Communications. NTT Communications are a worldwide company with over 150 datacentres in 196 countries. Their cloud computing experience and knowledge has put them in a unique position of having the reach to gather meaningful data from thousands of respondents on the topic of cloud adoption.

 

Here is one great example from the findings from the 9 ‘After-shock’ questions. Almost nine in ten (88 percent) ICT decision-makers are changing their cloud buying behaviour, with over one in three (38 percent) amending their procurement conditions for cloud providers. I would only add that there was much discussion at the recent 451 Group Hosting  and Cloud Transformation Summit (HCTS) in London around the increasingly active role of procurement and legal in the definition and scrutiny of cloud service provision.

 

1.    Only 5 percent of respondents believe location does not matter when it comes to storing company data

Location really does matter. Knowing where your data assets are held, in what jurisdiction, under what legal protection is a

mandatory requirement.

 

2.    More than three in ten (31 percent) ICT decision-makers are moving data to locations where the business knows it will

be safe

My prediction is that more will follow. NTT have the flexibility in their Cloud Data Centres to meet location requirement.

 

3.    Around six in ten (62 percent) of those not currently using cloud feel the revelations have prevented them from moving

their ICT into the cloud

Given the revelations, and the recent ‘Heartbleed’ security exposure in OpenSSL, this is natural behavior and will skew the

‘Diffusion of Innovations’ curve towards the late majority and laggards categories. The Risk and Reward equation continues

to favor cloud the advantages of response and agility.

 

4.    ICT decision-makers now prefer buying a cloud service which is located in their own region, especially EU respondents

(97 percent) and US respondents (92 percent)

‘Location, Location, Location’. As for homes, so for Compute, Network and Data Assets in the Cloud.

 

5.    Just over half (52 percent) are carrying out greater due diligence on cloud providers than ever before

This is one of those areas that places organisations looking to adopt cloud on a steep learning curve. A learning curve that

demands a multi-disiplinary approach and more detailed scrutiny of data protection and governance implications.

 

6.    One in six (16 percent) is delaying or cancelling contracts with cloud service providers

One attractive aspect of Cloud is that it gives the cloud customer the flexibility and agility to make changes and move according

to their business demands, risk assessments and constraints.

 

7.    More than four fifths (84 percent) feel they need more training on data protection laws

Interpretation of data protection legislation and its impact on corporate and data governance endorses the view that the selection

of cloud service providers requires a multi-disiplinary framework.

 

8.    82 percent of all ICT decision-makers globally agree with proposals by Angela Merkel for separating data networks

In Europe the flow of data in networks which takes it on convoluted journeys where it could be easily compromised is now on the

agenda. Will we see cloud services that localize data traffic within defined geographical domains ?

 

 

To summarise, Len Padilla VP Product Strategy for NTT Communications Europe concludes that

the allegations have hardened IT decision makers attitude towards cloud. This is changing procurement policies, with greater scrutiny of potential suppliers and heightened interest in where their data is stored. Len also adds that in spite of the recent scandals, cloud platforms

do help firms become more agile, and drive innovation, even in the most risk averse organisations. He adds that there is optimism that the industry will be able to resolve the issues through encryption and restricted data movement.

 

For more information, great insight and detail the NTT After shocks site is well worth a visit.

 

After-shocks | NTT Communications

 

Organisations that have any regulatory or business needs to enforce data confidentiality as a condition of their data governance criteria are increasingly looking at methods of securing

 

workloads and encrypting  data. NetApp secure multi-tenancy isolates VMs/groups, clients, business units and security zones. This provides secure data protection that takes the risk out of moving to a Cloud Infrastructure. Additionally NetApp Data ONTAP compliance solutions protect data with non-disruptive, comprehensive encryption and retention of data at rest, along with the ability to WORM lock data volumes to meet data regulation requirements.

 

For more information on how Data ONTAP can help you meet your data security and governance in the cloud:

 

Data Security - Enterprise Security Systems

 

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'In the court of the crimson king'  - 20th Century Schizoid Man