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Cloud Computing Must Address Issues of Interoperability

What’s the one thing standing in the way of long-term adoption of cloud computing services?

Not security, if you ask cloud computing experts from IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional association. Instead, the greatest challenge is cloud interoperability and data portability, a topic that will be addressed at IEEE Cloud 2011, taking place July 4-9 in Washington, D.C.

“Security is certainly a very important consideration, but it’s not what will inhibit further adoption,” said Dr. Alexander Pasik, CIO at IEEE, in a statement. “To achieve the economies of scale that will make cloud computing successful, common platforms are needed to ensure users can easily navigate between services and applications regardless of where they’re coming from, and enable organizations to more cost-effectively transition their IT systems to a services-oriented model.”

IEEE experts say that there is a way around this challenge, however, as cloud providers could easily reassure customers about cloud computing by improving the tools they offer enterprise customers to give them more control over their own data and applications while offering a security guarantee.

Today, many public cloud networks are designed as closed systems and are not equipped to interact with each other. The lack of integration between these networks makes it difficult for organizations to consolidate their IT systems in the cloud and realize productivity gains and cost savings, according to IEEE. In order to address this, industry standards must be developed to help cloud service providers design interoperable platforms and enable data portability.

“Security in the cloud is no different than security issues that impact on-premises networks,” said IEEE Fellow Elisa Bertino, professor of Computer Science at Purdue University and research director at the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance. “Organizations are not exposing themselves to greater security risks by moving data to the cloud. In fact, an organization’s data is likely to be more secure in the cloud because the vendor is a technology specialist whose business model is built on data protection.”

Despite the challenges that exist with cloud computing, it is continuing to increase exponentially. In fact, according to industry research firm IDC, revenue from public cloud computing services is expected to reach $55.5 billion by 2014, up from $16 billion in 2009.

Cloud computing has emerged as a leading trend as it has begun to play an important role in people’s professional and personal lives by supporting a variety of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications used to store healthcare records, critical business documents, music and e-book purchases, social media content, and more.

Originally posted at: http://it.tmcnet.com/topics/it/articles/191667-cloud-computing-must-address-issues-interoperability-according-ieee.htm

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