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Locking Down the Cloud: Freeing the Cloud

When I started talking to cloud experts about automation and security, I thought that we’d spend most of our time discussing how automation reduces human error (and deliberate malfeasance). And how it frees up IT time for higher value activities.

It does both of those things, of course. But I also discovered a sub-theme that kept bubbling up in my conversations: by automating security, you give a power boost to one of the most appealing features of cloud hosting: rapid elasticity and scalability.

Locking Down the Cloud

Over the last few years, IT departments have gotten increasingly comfortable with cloud technology, by which I mean cloud security. Because as one IT analyst put it recently, “When it comes to the cloud, security is the number one concern. And number two isn’t even close.”

IT führt „Cloud First” auf Erfolgskurs

Wenn ein Unternehmen neue Wege gehen will, stellt sich die Frage: Wohin soll es sich wenden, um die perfekte Kombination an Cloud-Services zu finden und das Projekt effektiv und wirtschaftlich umzusetzen?

Laut Mark Weinstein sollte die IT-Abteilung diesbezüglich der richtige Ansprechpartner sein.

IT Charts 'Cloud First' Route to Success

When a company is considering a new venture, where does it turn to find exactly the right combination of cloud services to make the project happen efficiently and economically?

Mark Weinstein believes the call should go to the IT department.

Weinstein is a "fractional CIO" who after working for more than 30 years for a variety of large financial firms, now acts as an advisor to smaller companies, helping them optimize the management of technology.

IT Embraces Cloud Apps to Improve Workflow

One member of the team wants to write and edit the plan as a Google Doc. Another has an outline in an iPad app. A third has notes in Evernote. And the presentation event will be hosted on Eventbrite.

Not only is everyone bringing their own device -- BYOD -- but they are making their own deals with cloud-based services.

Multiple applications featuring their own cloud appear to be cutting IT staffs out of the loop, but in fact, analysts say, all this new free-agency has created opportunities for more efficient, and more economical work processes.

IT Helps Simplify Cloud Provider Complexity

The Information Technology Services department at American Water is gradually shifting towards the cloud, away from a traditional "keep the lights on" mentality.

How will it get there?

That's for Leigh Ann Thomas to figure out.

The senior business relationship manager at the largest investor-owned water and wastewater utility in the U.S. has a broad, overall goal: focusing the department on business relationships and initiatives that add value to the company.

For Ops Team Member, Giving Back is the Goal

Some years ago I was working for the public sector and had some innovative ideas for using free and open source software in order to make things more agile, stable and cheaper. This involved not only changing the users' desktops but more importantly the online presence, the public services and the deciders' mentality. It was then I came to know software like Typo3, Plone, Mambo/Joomla, Wordpress and ultimately Drupal.

IT Builds New Revenue Streams on Cloud

Richard Sanchez, president of Miami-based cloud-computing company 0NL9, Inc., is no longer surprised to see IT skills applied in new -- and potentially profitable -- ways.

One of his clients is a company that leases storage containers in over a hundred locations across Canada and Europe. Recently, an IT pro on staff, "who was previously doing things like fighting computer viruses," took the initiative to develop an online calculator that allows prospective customers to price their lease online, based on the size and availability of the container.

Cloud Shifts IT Focus to Business Strategy

As cloud hosting has become part of the technology landscape, offsite technical expertise also has become the norm. This has changed the game for IT, greatly simplifying the configuration, operation, and support a company's technology infrastructure.

"Acquiring and implementing technology is no longer the secret sauce of IT," admits Tom Catalini, the chief information officer at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Yet, to Catalini, these are positive developments. "IT pros have a much better opportunity to really engage in the business now," he says.

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