With 2012 coming to a close, security analysts are beginning to offer predictions for the New Year. From cloud computing to BYOD, analysts are betting on what 2013 holds in store for IT departments.
Former Forrester analyst Andrew Jaquith, who is now CTO at Perimeter E-Security, talked to us about five myths he believes will be debunked in 2013. Four out of those five myths revolve around the cloud.
Myth One: Cloud Security
First of all, Jaquith points to the myth that security issues will remain the biggest obstacle to cloud adoption. It seems this drum has been beaten to death since the first mention of cloud computing. Jaquith is betting this myth will show itself to be false in 2013. In fact, he says it's simply not true.
"What remains the biggest obstacle to cloud adoption is the 'idea' that the cloud is not as secure as on-premise systems. In reality, the cloud has proven equally to more secure," he said. "It's analogous to keeping your money safely in a bank versus keeping it home under your mattress. Everyone knows a bank is a better, safer option. But when it comes to data, we haven't quite gotten there yet. It's all about perception versus reality."
Myth Two: Cloud Reliability
The second myth Jaquith points out also relates to the cloud. That myth suggests that the cloud is less reliable than on-premise solutions. Jaquith said despite the "fear, uncertainty and doubt" headlines that make their way into technology media, downtime of on-premise solutions continues to outpace the cloud.
"Cloud vendors commit to and generally meet a 99.9 percent uptime threshold as part of their SLA. But this level of service is not easily replicated by on-premise solutions," Jaquith said. "But outages do happen -- things do go wrong. And when they do, what's most important is transparency from the vendor -- in ongoing, truthful communication and in action when downtime occurs. This transparency is absolutely critical in building trust between customer and provider."
Myth Three: The BYOD Drain
"Bring your own device," otherwise known as BYOD, is a trend that consistently made headlines in 2012. One of the running themes is that BYOD is a major drain on IT resources. Jaquith disagrees.
"There's no doubt that BYOD is the hottest thing in IT -- and the revolution's got countless IT departments scrambling to establish corporate policies to keep pace," he said. "But contrary to popular belief -- and many panicky stories in the press -- BYOD management plans are much simpler and less resource-intensive than they're made out to be, if done right. This means applying holistic, yet sensible management and security policies that are grounded in the law and enforced through technology."
Myth Four: A Cloud Is a Cloud
The fourth myth Jaquith expects to see debunked in 2013 once again relates to the cloud. The myth is that all cloud services are the same.
"This may have been the case once upon a time," he said, "but today, nearly all cloud providers offer customized solutions to meet the specific needs of your business including high service level agreements, integration with existing business applications, private cloud options and specific, tailored contractual terms."
Myth Five: The Case for Cloud Conversion
The fifth and final myth Jaquith expects to see debunked in 2013 is this: IT needs to make the case for cloud conversion. But as he sees it, relying on internal resources to make the case for cloud adoption is a losing proposition.
"It is cloud vendors -- not IT departments -- who are responsible for making the path to the cloud simple, safe and secure. 2013 is the year to start demanding more from your potential cloud providers, especially when it comes to convincing your executive team and board that it's time to make the move," Jaquith said.
"Additionally, it's your right to demand functionality, transparency, clarity and assurance around your provider's data protection policies. In fact, this should be built into your contract -- as well as the right to audit the provider's practices."