The Verisade Library contains information about cyber security and Australian business, including information about threats, current controls and best practice, strategies and white papers.

Cloud Computing

The Cloud. Is it a silver bullet?

Emerging pressures to invest in cloud technologies to reduce costs and increase resilience may introduce issues that didn’t previously exist.

Where organisations once had to own and manage their own data centres, new businesses can now run most or all of their business from the cloud. The cloud offers benefits that include the reduction of ICT costs, ubiquitous access and continually up-to-date software—all of which is elastic and consumable on demand. This is an enormous advantage to those who can adapt to this new way of consuming technology. However, for organisations considering the shift from data centre to cloud, there are issues that need to be considered.

Email is an example of a service that can be moved to the cloud, and for a large organisation the cost benefits can be significant. However, the new risk profile may outweigh the cost-benefit estimates. Organisations with their own data centres traditionally have one primary link to the internet, allowing them to control what comes in and what leaves the organisation through a single choke point. Moving email services from the organisation's data centre to the cloud puts additional network infrastructure between staff and the service. If any of these external networks go down, all staff lose access to their email for the period of that network outage. Do the savings of moving to the cloud still outweigh the costs associated with an organisation-wide email outage?

This example illustrates that, although cloud computing offers new opportunities for organisations, it also presents new risks to existing business processes that must be considered before making the decision to move. Verisade has the expertise to help organisations identify the value of cloud offerings for their specific needs, the potential risks posed, and the ways these risks can be addressed to capitalise on cloud offerings.