Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, William Schmarzo

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, IBM Cloud, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Article

Security Isn't the Biggest Obstacle of Cloud Computing

Understanding the impacts of cloud computing on enterprise culture

IBM Session at Cloud Expo

Frankly I've grown weary of the debates over the security of cloud computing. It's not that I don't appreciate that there are technical hurdles in front of us, but we have reached a point that a security vulnerability in a single offering, whether that offering is in the public or private cloud, results in loads of silly commentary that links the particular problem to the overall state of cloud security. I'm not sure if those involved in this commentary have a vested interest in driving this kind of dialogue, or if it happens because it is easy to write about, but in either case a majority of the discussions around cloud security have degraded to pure absurdity.

By and large I've learned to ignore most of this commentary as useless rambling. However, the problem with all this talk is not that it is simply aggravating, but it distracts from what I think is a more serious challenge in the cloud computing space, one that I believe slows adoption more than concerns over security. That's right. While I'm positive many heartily disagree, I don't think security is the biggest challenge to the adoption of cloud computing. In fact, in my opinion the biggest challenge is not even a technical issue.

I can't even begin to remember how many times I've been in meetings where a cloud solution was being pitched and all of a sudden the conversation becomes dominated by audience members. This dialogue isn't usually conversation between the audience and the presenter either. Rather it is a back and forth between company reps in the audience that usually includes questions like the following:

- "What is the networking team going to think about this?"

- "Will the operating system group approve of this approach?"

- "Can our data center administrators work with this new solution?"

Naturally the questions vary depending on the solution being presented, but these types of questions, which in my experience are as frequent as the technical questions, lead me to believe that the operational culture of today's enterprise poses the single biggest challenge toward increasing adoption of cloud computing solutions.

In large part due to the types of technologies built over the last several years, organizations have been "encouraged" to solve problems by building up silos around particular activities. Teams are tasked to complete a piece of the overall solution (i.e. networking, operating system, application, operations, etc.), and each team has their own tools and processes to help them achieve their goals.

While there are arguments to be made both for and against this segmented approach to IT, one thing that cannot be argued is that this approach is at odds with many cloud computing solutions that are more holistic in their approach. As a simple example, think about a typical provisioning process for an application stack:

1)      User submits request for application platform

2)      Infrastructure team assigns physical machines and networking resources

3)      Operating system team installs and configures operating system

4)      Middleware team installs and configures application platform

5)      Applications team installs and configures application

6)      User gains control of the environment

Compare this to the approach taken to provision the same application stack with a PaaS solution whereby the requesting user simply selects their required environment and provisions it into the cloud. This single-step, self-service approach is certainly more streamlined and perhaps sustainable, but it implies quite a bit of a change in the organization.

In this case, the use of the new PaaS solution doesn't mean the organization is throwing out their normal requirements for setting up application environments. However, it does mean that the operational culture they have built up around this process changes. No longer are the teams working in silos with their own tools, but instead they all work within the domain of the PaaS solution and its toolset to enable the one-step, self-service provisioning process exposed to the end user. This change can be quite significant and require working relationships and dependencies that were previously unnecessary in the organization. While that may sound simple enough, changing the way teams interact within an enterprise often entails tons of analysis and discussion, and sometimes proves to be all but impossible.

We must filter the noise from things like cloud security commentary and get out in front of the cultural obstacles that stand in the way of cloud computing adoption. Overcoming these hurdles means the inclusion of certain capabilities in products like change management control, process approval, and the careful division of user permissions and access. It also means that vendors need to be proactive and engage the industry and challenge enterprises to start thinking about what adopting cloud computing within an organization really means. Beyond the technical challenges, emphasis needs to be put on the importance of understanding the impact of cloud computing on operational culture. After all, without this crucial understanding the adoption process will either suffer from a turtle-like pace or altogether fail, and obviously neither outcome is a good one for the cloud industry.<-->

More Stories By Dustin Amrhein

Dustin Amrhein joined IBM as a member of the development team for WebSphere Application Server. While in that position, he worked on the development of Web services infrastructure and Web services programming models. In his current role, Dustin is a technical specialist for cloud, mobile, and data grid technology in IBM's WebSphere portfolio. He blogs at http://dustinamrhein.ulitzer.com. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/damrhein.

@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "We are a software house, so we perfectly understand challenges that other software houses face in their projects. We can augment a team, that will work with the same standards and processes as our partners' internal teams. Our teams will deliver the same quality within the required time and budget just as our partn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tappest will exhibit MooseFS at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MooseFS is a breakthrough concept in the storage industry. It allows you to secure stored data with either duplication or erasure coding using any server. The newest – 4.0 version of the software enables users to maintain the redundancy level with even 50% less hard drive space required. The software func...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software in the hope of capturing value in IoT. Although IoT is relatively new in the market, it has already gone through many promotional terms such as IoE, IoX, SDX, Edge/Fog, Mist Compute, etc. Ultimately, irrespective of the name, it is about deriving value from independent software assets participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution.
Regardless of what business you’re in, it’s increasingly a software-driven business. Consumers’ rising expectations for connected digital and physical experiences are driving what some are calling the "Customer Experience Challenge.” In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Marco Morales, Director of Global Solutions at CollabNet, will discuss how organizations are increasingly adopting a discipline of Value Stream Mapping to ensure that the software they are producing is poised to o...
IBM helps FinTechs and financial services companies build and monetize cognitive-enabled financial services apps quickly and at scale. Hosted on IBM Bluemix, IBM’s platform builds in customer insights, regulatory compliance analytics and security to help reduce development time and testing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Tom Eck, Industry Platforms CTO at IBM Cloud, will discuss how these tools simplify the time-consuming tasks of selection, mapping and data integration, allowing developers ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale, a global pure play Infrastructure as a Service provider and strategic partner of Dassault Systèmes, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2010, Outscale simplifies infrastructure complexities and boosts the business agility of its customers. Outscale delivers a secure, reliable and industrial strength solution for its customers, which in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Systena America will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Systena Group has been in business for various software development and verification in Japan, US, ASEAN, and China by utilizing the knowledge we gained from all types of device development for various industries including smartphones (Android/iOS), wireless communication, security technology and IoT serv...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
Cloud applications are seeing a deluge of requests to support the exploding advanced analytics market. “Open analytics” is the emerging strategy to deliver that data through an open data access layer, in the cloud, to be directly consumed by external analytics tools and popular programming languages. An increasing number of data engineers and data scientists use a variety of platforms and advanced analytics languages such as SAS, R, Python and Java, as well as frameworks such as Hadoop and Spark...
Interested in leveling up on your Cloud Foundry skills? Join IBM for Cloud Foundry Days on June 7 at Cloud Expo New York at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Foundry Days is a free half day educational conference and networking event. Come find out why Cloud Foundry is the industry's fastest-growing and most adopted cloud application platform.
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing bes...
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
In order to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s customers, companies are continually forced to redefine their business strategies in order to meet these needs, stay relevant and continue to see profitable growth. IoT deployment and development is integral in this transformation, and today businesses are increasingly seeing the value of investing their resources into IoT deployments. These technologies are able increase ROI through projects such as connecting supply chains or enabling sm...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Twistlock, the leading provider of cloud container security solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Twistlock is the industry's first enterprise security suite for container security. Twistlock's technology addresses risks on the host and within the application of the container, enabling enterprises to consistently enforce security policies, monitor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus intern...
Everywhere we turn in our industry we can find strong opinions about the direction, type and nature of cloud’s impact on computing and business. Another word that is used in every context in our industry is “hybrid.” In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Alvaro Gonzalez, Director of Technical, Partner and Field Marketing at Peak 10, will use a combination of a few conceptual props and some research recently commissioned by Peak 10 to offer a real-world consideration of how the various categories of...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...