Category Archives: Cloud Technology

Microsoft Obtains ISO Cloud Privacy Certification

When it comes to cloud computing and services, privacy is at the front of every company’s mind. When the United States began to demand access to cloud-based data from Microsoft’s Ireland data center, customers recognized that their information might not be safe from privacy violations even if their information is not resident in the US. Many industry players, including Microsoft, have started to fight these demands. No matter what they decide to do, the EU or the US governments will not be happy.


Microsoft truly believes their customers own their own data, not the cloud providers who they store it with. Microsoft claims to be the first major cloud provider to adopt the ISO/IEC 27018. This is the first global standard for cloud privacy, and many of Microsoft’s programs have been evaluated for compliance by the British Standards Institute.


The ISO/IEC 27018 establishes commonly accepted control objectives and guidelines for implementing measures to protect identifying persona information in accordance with the 29100 policy. Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith said that they are optimistic that this policy can serve as a template for regulators and customers as they both desire strong privacy protection. Adherence to this policy will ensure that customer’s privacy will be protected in many ways.


First, customers will be in charge of their data, and Microsoft will only process personally identifiable information based on what the customer wants. Second, customers will always know what is happening to their data, all returns, transfers, and deletion of data will be transparent. Third, there will be restrictions on how Microsoft handles personal data, including restricting its transmissions over public networks, storage on transportable media and processes for data recovery. Fourth, the data will not be used for advertising purposes. Lastly, Microsoft will inform their customers about government access to data. The standard requires law enforcement requests for data must be disclosed to the customers.


Adherence to this standard is an important move to reassure its enterprise customers that their information is safe. However, the execution of these promises is worth more than making the promises. There are still lingering concerns and fears about data privacy and security around shifting to the cloud, so Microsoft’s announcement is a step in the right direction.

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Tech Companies Competing To Be The Leader In Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a technology that allows centralized data storage and online access to computer services and resources through remote servers and networks. Many technology companies have begun to transition from IT resources into cloud computing and are competing to become the world leader. The better-managed companies will be able to make this transition more successfully than those who lack decent management. Here is a description of what some tech companies are doing to make this transition.




Cisco’s transition into the cloud has allowed the company to grow further than its traditional routers and switches. Cisco has seen a dramatic increase in earnings from data relevant products and services. They also reported that its Unified Computing System data platform had a surge in users. Cisco is transitioning into software-defined networks (SDN), which will force current models to change their models. However, this will take a long time.




IBM’s cloud revenue shot through the roof last year, and this month its investors are planning on discussing the next steps to take for its hybrid cloud options. IBM hopes to make all the separate clouds act as one. They believe hybrid cloud arrangements are more appealing to companies and enable connections between new wave Web applications and traditional backend operations.




Oracle’s earnings from cloud growth grew by almost 50% last year. This includes their Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) services. Oracle’s focus has been on growing their cloud business, and its been showing. Mark Hurd, the CEO of Oracle, recently said that within 5-6 years cloud applications will take up to 60% of the total enterprise application market due to the development speed of new functional and easy upgrades.




VMware was late to the cloud transition because they were profiting from server virtualization. This creates multiple operating systems on a single computer server. In 2013 they began to transition into the cloud and quickly started to distribute its own products. Like IBM, they went with the hybrid cloud idea so businesses could use private and public clouds depending on the level of security they want. They updated their vSpehere platform and the foundation on which its cloud service is built on in order to provide the hybrid cloud resources without change to any standard customs the customers use.




Workday builds and provides cloud applications for finance and human resource departments and is one of the fastest growing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud space and big data business. Their revenues have been consistently increasing by more than 50%.

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Contemplating the Cloud

Cloud computing is being adopted at an exponential rate, with software-as-a-service (SaaS) arrangements being the leader. In the corporate sphere, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is leading. IaaS offers virtual hardware, storage capacity, and network connections. Another type of service is the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) which allows users to build applications on the internet.


Utilization of the cloud promises savings, flexibility, and ease, which is why many companies have begun to implement it. There are some big decisions to make before they can successfully apply cloud computing. These include: public, private, or hybrid clouds; cost-benefit analysis, and risk assessment.


cloud puzzle



When a company is considering a SaaS arrangement, the motivation is hardware or software upgrades. Usually a company has an old on-site application and they need to upgrade because the old system is running out of support. Since the cost of an upgrade may be comparable to a replacement, cloud computing should be seriously considered. If they opt for a private cloud, they are the only tenants and they own the license or software. This may be favorable for a company who wishes to cut costs and runs a tight IT division. A public or hybrid approach would be better suited for a company who experiences spikes in application usage or who wants their resources spent elsewhere.


Prominence of SaaS

SaaS has become the leader in the market for customer relationship management, supply chain management, payroll benefits, time and attendance, and ERP software. Since 2000, it has grown from being virtually nonexistent to accounting for just over half of all software deals last year. SaaS is beneficial for small companies due to its replacement cycle of only two to three years versus nine years with licensed software. Next, companies look towards IaaS and PaaS.


ERP Resistance

ERP systems are the last thing to be sent to the cloud. Integration of applications, data stewardship and governance all has higher priority than replacing or updating ERP systems. This is because ERP systems are high customized. Manufacturing companies have been the most resistant to adopt ERP SaaS solutions because the customization and integration it requires make it difficult for on site cloud systems to compete. Other highly regulated industries have also been reluctant to implement cloud arrangements due to burdensome compliance requirements.


Capital vs. Operating Expenses

One factor to consider when looking into cloud arrangements is capital vs. operating expenses. Cloud arrangements are more attractive to companies whose performance is measured return on assets deployed. On the other hand, regulated companies aren’t interested in cutting fixed assets, so they might be more likely to hold onto their data centers and other IT infrastructures and build out private clouds within these systems to reduce operating expenses. New companies and startups will most likely implement SaaS applications.


Other Considerations 

The cloud could potentially impact worker productivity, security issues, privacy issues, interdependency, and compatibility with other applications. Issues can arise when a security breach occurs, when the contract ends, and ownership issues. These risks need to be evaluated individually to come to the best conclusion for the specified use of the cloud.

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