Opinion and Analysis
Firms should adopt cloud computing
Posted Wednesday, August 8 2012 at 20:59
According to a recent study by Forrester, the global consulting firm, adoption of cloud computing by organisations globally is growing steadily as businesses begin to see it as a strategic approach that creates business value.
The study, titled “Delivering on High Cloud Expectations” was conducted in March 2012 and surveyed 327 CIOs and IT executives on cloud computing.
The key findings of the study show that Fifty-eight per cent of organisations globally run mission critical workloads in the cloud and seventy-nine per cent plan to do the same in the next two years.
Cloud computing is a generic term that refers to several different ways that organisations can gain access to shared ICT resources that are consumed over a network, mostly but not necessarily the Internet.
The term emerged in late 2007 as a category for two emerging types of online offerings: infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), which delivers raw compute or storage resources, and platform-as-a-service (PaaS), which delivers a complete runtime environment for developing or running applications from the likes of Amazon and Google.
The term has expanded to a third type of online offering: software-as-a-service (SaaS), which provides organisations with access to software functionality.
In Kenya, cloud computing is mostly vendor-driven with little or no interest from many organisations.
Local studies have shown that many Kenyan organisations are unwilling to adopt cloud computing because of concerns around data security and fear of losing control over key ICT functions.
While some of these concerns are valid and justified, there a number of reasons local organisations need to start embracing cloud computing.
Local service providers are rapidly evolving in capabilities and are investing in the infrastructure required to deliver cloud services.
The regulatory environment in Kenya is also changing as many of the new regulations are now addressing risks introduced by cloud computing to local organisations.
These regulations are forcing service providers to invest in data security controls to ensure customer data is safeguarded.
The benefits of deploying cloud computing are enormous: Kenyan organisations that successfully deploy cloud computing will transform their ICT departments into true service providers that meet the needs and demands of internal business users.
Cloud computing will enable ICT departments in Kenyan organisations to create a standardised set of services required by the business - as opposed to ICT department driven solutions - for the business to consume.
The growth of cloud service providers like Google Apps and Dropbox is already compelling many ICT departments to become more responsive, transparent and to offer business-relevant services.