Cloud computing competition could create continuity concerns

As time wears on, government cloud computing, public deployments, hybrid options and various other methods of delivering and using the cloud are seeing greater amounts of interest. Some companies are trying to increase their cloud storage holdings in order to accommodate big data and business intelligence (BI), while others are still just trying to get their foot in the door.

On the flip side, though, even vendors are seeing more of a push to put out products that offer more to consumers and drive off competition. This is a standard business model in any industry – offering bigger, better and more rewarding bonuses encourages more revenue for a particular organization – but when dealing with sensitive corporate data, enterprise IT solutions can't cut corners. Offering a more valuable cloud storage package is an alluring option for any company, so long as the vendor is able to offer a reduced price with the same level of security and continuity protection to meet compliance standards.

Improving universal accessibility
The price of the cloud is already declining in significant ways, as ZDNet reported. Google Drive, loved and used by consumers and corporations alike, is offering its cloud utilities at a terabyte of volume for free for three years with the purchase of its new Chromebook Pixel, uniting hardware and virtual storage in a significant way for the first time. This service would usually cost Google users about $50 per month, which can add up in the long run, especially if a company has each of its staff members in need of this kind of substantial storage space.

While this may seem like a lot of space for one person, a single business will need far more than a terabyte in the near future, some experts theorize, especially since some companies are already well above that figure. Saving money in the cloud has been one of the mantras of the service since its launch, and though enterprise IT solutions in the home office are useful, they don't provide the flexibility or capacity for the price that cloud can. As options became cheaper, FormTek wrote, Forrester found that storing 100 terabytes of information in the cloud reached a point where it's about three-quarters less expensive than using an in-house hardware resource.

On top of that, some companies are bringing down their access and bandwidth costs to make getting to the cloud more easy. As InformationWeek pointed out, businesses like Rackspace are offering packages that combine ease of use with depth of storage. Slashing prices by up to one-third is more than an empty gesture to savvy organizations, who likely will see declining bandwidth costs as a sign that more collaboration would therefore be possible on the global scale, so long as they invest in the right cloud deployments.

Always look gift clouds in the mouth
InformationWeek warned that being less expensive doesn't inherently make the cloud better on its own. The Ponemon Institute conducted a study of government cloud computing experts and their initiatives to discern if jumping into the cloud could really save them money in the long run.

The source found that preliminary cloud momentum was received well and had solid returns on investment for the agencies that enacted them. However, as federal initiatives pushed virtual adoption more quickly, the demand and the need for faster conversion collided to create a slippery security slope. Basically, organizations rushing to take advantage of cloud savings now endanger their enterprise IT solutions by forcing their entire operations into that resource too quickly. It leaves no time to troubleshoot or assess previous launches for security and continuity, the source stated. This could make the competitive nature of cloud vendors even more dangerous to corporate wellbeing.

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