The significance of secure data sharing could not be more evident within the overall IT industry. Security remains the single most important question mark that still causes doubt about cloud computing, especially in regulated verticals such as the financial, government and science sectors.
For an increasing number of enterprises, private clouds and new-generation security are the best ways to handle data- and file-sharing.
A recent survey by Palmer Research and eWEEK publisher QuinStreet reported that 65 percent of respondents currently use or plan to use a private cloud deployment model for internal purposes or for application inside value chains. Thirty-six percent of respondents say they are now running a private cloud, with 29 percent planning to use a private cloud. Those are big numbers at this early stage, and there are good reasons for them.
Private clouds enable businesses to take advantage of the efficiency of cloud computing without exposing their data and applications to those outside the organization—or, if they choose, their value chains of resellers and contractors. These private systems are the ones being marketed hardest by cloud infrastructure providers such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Cisco Systems, Oracle, EMC/VMware, Dell and others.
We're seeing private cloud services slowly but steadily replacing former in-office functions, such as employee recruiting management, testing and development of software, travel and expense management, and employee benefit management. Value-chain transactions, retail sales and credit-related business deals are increasing through private clouds because the security quotient is much higher than it is when using conventional means.
Meanwhile, the increased consumerization of IT and the popularity of BYOD practices are jeopardizing the security and integrity of enterprise data that is not accessed through private cloud systems. Seeking an easy way to share files across smart phones, tablets and desktops, employees often use free public cloud file-sharing services that lack rigorous security and audit controls. These services are prone to security outages, and they lack the centralized monitoring and control features that IT and security teams need for keeping data safe and demonstrating compliance.