Magazine article Information Management

Cloud Computing from the CIO's View

Magazine article Information Management

Cloud Computing from the CIO's View

Article excerpt

CLOUD COMPUTING

CIO magazine recently talked to some of the top CIOs about the challenges of cloud computing. Their leading concerns are legacy, vendor "lock-in," and security.

General Electric's chief operating officer for cloud, Chris Drumgoole, said most of its new apps (more than 90%) deployed today are in the cloud. But what's to be done about its 9,000 legacy apps? The company needs to assess each app and decide whether to move it, kill it, consolidate it with other apps, or allow it to remain on some sort of legacy system. Drumgoole said GE hopes to have made all those decisions by 2016.

Vendor lock-in can also be a major obstacle according to Dow Chemical's David Day, director of workplace services. Moving from one cloud app to another can be extremely complicated because the apps don't talk to each other. He advocates for better "orchestration tools," as well as standards to help smooth the way. On the positive side, Land O'Lakes CIO Mike Macrie said it is generally less expensive to switch providers in the cloud compared to on-premises.

CIOs still consider security a universal concern. "Security is one of the more complex problems to solve. To really put together an effective solution, you need to cobble together 5-6 solutions," says Randy Spratt, CIO and CTO at McKesson.

Humana's CIO, Brian LeClaire, said his company relies on "multiple tools and tactics" to protect its information and it assesses the provider's security framework before engaging with it. For example, the company looks at what tools the vendors use, their general approach to security, how they handle encryption, and their ability to ensure information remains in the continental United States. …

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