Are You Ready For Business Units to Manage Their Own Information Technology?

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March 14, 2012 · by Duane Craig · Cloud Computing News
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Being able to afford information technology has traditionally favored those firms that had the money for it, giving them a competitive advantage. With the cloud, however, the playing field is being considerably leveled and is transferring those advantages to even small and medium-sized architecture, engineering and construction businesses. The thing is, as small and medium sized businesses adopt the cloud there are pitfalls to watch out for, especially in the area of transferring IT decision making away from technology specialists to business unit leaders.

According to ISACA, a global nonprofit IT association, eliminating oversight and governance from cloud computing decisions can create significant risk to organizations, effectively undermining any benefits of moving to the cloud and, at the same time, potentially creating serious issues for organizations.

The association also stresses that only through proper governance and management can cloud computing achieve its potential for organizations. To help enterprises manage the potential pressure points that begin to surface when cloud computing strategies diverge from internally provided IT services or traditional outsourced arrangements, ISACA has issued Guiding Principles for Cloud Computing Adoption and Use, a complimentary guide featuring six key cloud computing principles:

  1. The Enablement Principle: Plan for cloud computing as a strategic enabler, rather than as an outsourcing arrangement or technical platform.
  2. The Cost/Benefit Principle: Evaluate the benefits of cloud acquisition based on a full understanding of the costs of cloud compared with the costs of other technology platform business solutions.
  3. The Enterprise Risk Principle: Take an enterprise risk management (ERM) perspective to manage the adoption and use of cloud.
  4. The Capability Principle: Integrate the full extent of capabilities that cloud providers offer with internal resources to provide a comprehensive technical support and delivery solution.
  5. The Accountability Principle: Manage accountabilities by clearly defining internal and provider responsibilities.
  6. The Trust Principle: Make trust an essential part of cloud solutions, building trust into all business processes that depend on cloud computing.

According to Ramsés Gallego, CISM, CGEIT, member of ISACA’s Guidance and Practices Committee and security strategist and evangelist for Quest Software:

Cloud computing presents a unique opportunity for enterprises—and is particularly a game-changer for small and medium enterprises because its availability means that technology infrastructure is not the market differentiator it has been in the past. These principles will enable enterprises to experience the value that cloud can provide and help ensure that internal and external users can trust cloud solutions.

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