Renting the Cloud for Evaluation
"Renting the cloud" for evaluation
Let's explore one more scenario. Let's say you've started to partner with somebody but you haven't actually fully partnered yet. The cloud allows you to have a staging area where you can work with that partner for some period of time, establish an initial business association and evaluate the relationship. That partner doesn't want to buy a million dollars' worth of on-premises equipment and applications to do this. Instead, you can offer them a two-month rental in your cloud piece of the application and ask them to take a look. They can then get their authorized personnel into the cloud. They can then monitor, trade, buy, sell-whatever the application happened to do.
If they like it, they might buy it for the enterprise, as they want consistent representation and they don't want to forfeit their work. Or they might want to permanently buy a cloud piece. But they will want that cloud piece to tie into their enterprise directory and to export pieces of that enterprise directory to the cloud application so the application knows the authorized identities in their organization. (You may call this "command and control" but that's a general-purpose term. It implies an ability to determine who may do what and when and whether you can prove it.)
Really, very few things will "go cloud" immediately because few new applications fall in the enterprise class of things. Small partners and limited-time events (where a small piece of the application naturally belongs in the cloud) have a place in the cloud because the cloud facilitates the onboarding of the partner. What the partner does afterwards doesn't matter so much as the onboarding part. And this characterizes my point: some pieces of applications-not necessarily whole applications-appear fit for life in the cloud (for example, the RFP scenario).
But for now, the bigger, truly enterprise-caliber applications will likely stay put. Connections to the small partners are going to probably start moving to the cloud but, since they were never on-premises anyway, this is not news. They've used faxes and e-mail in the past and now, instead of using e-mail, they can actually have a sturdy application that understands access control, allows them to audit and empowers them to do truly great things.
Taher Elgamal is Chief Security Officer at Axway. Taher is an expert in computer, network and information security. Recognized in the industry as the inventor of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Taher led the SSL efforts at Netscape and throughout the industry. He also wrote the SSL patent and promoted SSL as the Internet Security standard within standard committees and the industry. Taher also invented several industry and government standards in the data security and digital signatures areas including the DSS government standard for digital signatures.
A 2009 recipient of the RSA Conference Lifetime Achievement Award, Taher has public company board experience with RSA Security, hi/fn, Phoenix Technology and Tumbleweed. He also serves on numerous corporate advisory boards. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.