Ovum: Treat cloud as traditional asset

Organizations should treat cloud services as they would traditional IT assets, and not assume the cloud is unbreakable, advises analyst firm.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

Don't treat cloud services any differently from other IT assets in an organization, advised Ovum.

Following the recent crash of social bookmarking site, Ma.gnolia, which wiped out all of its users' data, the analyst firm released a statement advising organizations against over-trusting the cloud.

David Mitchell, Ovum senior vice president of IT research, said: "CIOs should treat cloud services the same way as they treat other IT assets that they use.

"They need to ensure that they have effective backup and recovery plans for the data held in cloud services, in the same way as they would for on-premise services--whether those backup services are provided by the cloud provider or by the CIO."

Mitchell said unless it is acceptable for cloud services to have unknown service levels and for data to be lost, customers of cloud providers should treat these services with "the same seriousness as they would mainstream IT purchases".

The cloud is not invincible
The mistake of many organizations is making the assumption that cloud-based services have access to "near-infinite pools of computing resources and that these resources are operated to 'best in class' standards", said Mitchell.

The reality, however, is cloud providers have the same investment criteria as traditional businesses, and rely on revenues to justify their capital investments in infrastructure outlay, he highlighted.

Beyond this, Mitchell offered advice to CIOs looking to integrate cloud services into their infrastructure. In order to achieve richer functionality, CIOs should place emphasis on interoperability.

This will also allow different services to work together, potentially allowing for a support network to be built--two storage cloud services could mirror each other, for example.

"Ultimately, interoperability around the cloud needs to be taken more seriously and offer progressively richer functionality, so that cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-on-premise integration is seamless and can become part of the standard corporate architecture," said Mitchell.

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