Cloud computing is a form of Internet-based computing involving shared resources and shared software. It could change the way that many businesses and individuals use information technology, but this type of technology also could lead to different and new risks. Whether organizations or individuals use a private cloud, public cloud or hybrid cloud, it would be best for them to understand the best techniques for cloud computing management. These involve identifying and understanding the risks, deciding how best to mitigate them and planning ways for business continuity in case problems arise with cloud computing technology.
The first step to cloud computing management is to identify and analyze risks associated with participating in a private cloud or public cloud. For instance, when using a public cloud, companies and individuals could be at risk for problems involving shared information, such as loss of privacy or the theft of confidential data. Another cloud-related risk involves the danger that the cloud computing vendor fails to comply with contractual terms. Other risks come from outside the cloud, and it is important to consider sources of electricity and telecommunication services and potential property damage and personnel risks.
The next step is to consider the impact of these risks. Each of the risks mentioned above would have a different impact on companies in particular, including their operations, brands and reputations, and customers and partners. The next step in cloud computing management is for companies and individuals to decide whether this impact could be withstood or would be more serious.
If cloud-related risks are deemed too serious, an organization might consider an internal, private cloud. For instance, if an organization houses confidential data and sends that information through e-mail, that organization might want to host that e-mail on a private cloud. Private clouds are hosted on systems that are dedicated to only one organization, whereas public clouds are shared by multiple organizations. Some data and information can be so private that it might not be worth the risk of putting it on a cloud at all.
The next step in cloud computing management is to consider what can be done to mitigate the serious risks. Part of the mitigation process could be to establish a business continuity plan or a plan to keep an organization up and running should access to the cloud be cut off. Another mitigation strategy could be to establish redundant or backup systems for e-mail or data storage.