Businesses across industries have come to a consensus about the inherent business value of cloud computing and are increasingly transitioning to the cloud.
Cloud’s popularity has grown immensely, as more and more recognize its benefits of improving data access, freeing up internal IT resources for more strategic tasks, cutting costs, and increasing flexibility, versatility, efficiency and economies of scale.
However, the ongoing development and growth of cloud and its vast benefits are limited by challenges and inconsistencies that exist in its current state. Concerns about the data security and the efficiency and effectiveness of cloud services are a result of these challenges. From its research, Booz & Company identified nine top challenges in cloud computing that are slowing the adoption of cloud computing in markets across the globe (shown below).
The Underlying Problem with Cloud Computing
The underlying problem that lies beneath these nine challenges is a lack of standards. As of now, there has only been very fragmented efforts to define standards for cloud computing. What needs to happen in order to resolve the issues is for all stakeholders in the future success of cloud computing – technology companies, service providers, customers, and governments alike – to join together in a concerted effort to develop and adopt industry-wide standards for cloud.
These technological, management and regulatory standards will restore order to the cloud environment by providing definitions, best practices, and guidelines for optimizing cloud usage. The standards will also help businesses recognize the opportunities presented by using cloud computing and allow them to engage in cross-industry partnerships and ventures.
Booz & Company found a total of 160 different standards covering many different aspects of cloud today. Some of these standards possessed significant similarities, while others were very different and most of them were underdeveloped.
In addition, a variety of both international and regional standards organizations have created sets of standards that have the potential to be widely disseminated:
- International: The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA)
- Europe: EuroCloud
- Europe: The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)
- U.S.: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
However, much of the standardization effort is being led by IT vendors, including AMD, Cisco System, Citrix Systems, and IBM. Yet, this effort to create true standards for cloud computing still has a long way to go until completion and adoption.
A Call for Action
Without these agreed-upon and thoroughly defined standards, cloud computing may never reach its full potential and become universally accepted and implemented. Booz & Co says that the most influential group in ensuring the creation and success of open cloud standards is “the community of current and future customers of cloud computing, including enterprises both large and small.”
It is the CIOs of businesses of all sizes that need to ignite and monitor the development of these necessary standards that will help meet the objectives of their organization. The CIOs’ responsibility should be to ensure that their organization is contributing the development of consistent, fair standards. Businesses, as well as governments, must take an active role in defining industry standards in order to promote the growth of cloud computing, which has such tremendous business potential.
For more information, check out Booz & Company’s whitepaper Standardizing the Cloud – A Call to Action (no registration required).