WHAT IS CLOUD-BASED
COMPUTING & SOFTWARE?
It’s not hard to see how file saving and sharing has gone through some significant changes in the past decade. From floppy disks to CDs to USB flash drives, evolving technology to serve the on-the-go lifestyle is no new phenomenon. However, today you don’t even need to save all of your files on one particular device or piece of hardware anymore. Instead, thanks to cloud computing, you can access your files from any connected device, anywhere in the world. In short, the “cloud” is a metaphor for the Internet; a virtual space that connects users from all over the globe to share information by way of satellite networks.
What are the Business Benefits of Cloud Computing?
Simply put, cloud computing delivers a full suite of software services that many modern enterprises cannot operate without. These include access to servers, storage, backups, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence — all facilitated over the Internet (“the cloud”). Robust services offer businesses faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.
“Cloud or virtual computing does seem to be the answer to many a chief information officer’s quest for a solution that provides the interoperability, agility and real-time information exchange businesses need to compete.”
Andrew Stekhoven (Escrow Europe MD)
A business will typically pay only for the cloud services that it uses, which is another factor in helping to lower operating costs, optimise infrastructure and scale with evolving business needs. This means that there are clear economic benefits to the increased agility of cloud-based integration across the IT and business aspects of almost any organisation. However, the benefits of accessing this kind of big data analytics also keeps rolling in:
- Improved partner and customer relations and retention
- Extended investments in legacy applications and systems
- Increased revenue and margin
- Improved order accuracy
- Faster time-to-market
- Greater competitive advantage
- Reduced costs and capital expenditures
- Increased operational efficiencies
- Reduced manual processes
- Aligning IT with business goals
- Enhanced scalability and flexibility
Are there Any Drawbacks for Business Cloud Computing?
In short, always bear in mind that just because it’s in the cloud, doesn’t automatically mean it’s safe. Unlike on-premise applications, supply chain disruption in the cloud could mean a sudden loss of access to the cloud system, ultimately resulting in the customer not being able to recover the solution or data.
“These include security issues and loss of control over your company’s data. In fact, despite many service providers’ assurances about the existence of back-ups and disaster recovery centres, cloud computing should not be viewed as a way to abdicate responsibility for your company’s mission-critical systems and business continuity. At all times, the proverbial buck stops with the CIO.” Stekhoven
Escrow for Cloud to Protect Both Developers & Businesses
For peace of mind, the rise of cloud software escrow solutions has become equally, if not more important, in protecting and enhancing the resiliency of businesses and organisations that rely on the cloud for operational continuity. Ultimately the takeaway is that no matter how stable the cloud provider is, always at least prepare for the worst.
“From an operational risk perspective, an active escrow arrangement is the only proper re-assurance that an organisation has that the software that is vital to the survival of their business will not become orphanware. The need for escrow protection as a cost effective part of proper operational risk management is a no brainer.” Stekhoven
Escrow Europe for South African Enterprises
As a member of the International Software Escrow Association (ISEA), Escrow Europe is the only South African agent that concentrates entirely on active escrow. This means that we technically verify every deposit, and track updates and new releases. Our team ensures that the deposited material will be useful to the company should it be required in the event of a release condition. By contrast, ‘passive’ escrow offers no assurance that the code on deposit is present and correct – the deposited media might even be a blank CD for all you know.
COBIT®, Val IT™ and COSO