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Forrester: Cloud Joins Formal IT Portfolio in 2014

In 2014 cloud leverage will be both traditional and disruptive as the business and IT put cloud to work

Forrester Research is looking forward, and what it sees is cloud as commonplace in 2014.

In 2013, enterprises got real about cloud computing. In 2014, businesses will integrate it into existing IT portfolios, whether IT gives its blessing or not.

As the Age of the Customer arrives, all the focus shifts to the Systems of Engagement and the agility in refining these critical customer tools, according to an article on ZDNet. Cloud technologies and services represent the fastest way for the business to reach new buyers and breathe new life into aging applications.

In 2014 cloud leverage will be both traditional and disruptive as the business and IT put cloud to work. Here are the top 10 cloud actions Forrester predicts will happen in enterprise IT environments in 2014.

Cloud App Security for Mobile Devices Gains Patent
IBM announced it has received a patent for a solution that improves the security of cloud applications accessed by mobile devices.

IBM has patented an invention that prevents mobile devices from running compromised code, according to an article on eWEEK.com. Big Blue officials said inventors in IBM Research have patented a technique that can enable businesses to improve cloud security and support secure transactions by preventing mobile devices from accessing software code that has been maliciously or inadvertently modified after it was encrypted.

With the proliferation of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments among enterprises, this invention could prove useful for businesses hoping to keep sensitive information secure. Moreover, with the rise of the mobile workforce, many businesses have employees using mobile devices while working at remote, off-site locations.

IBM said these scenarios introduce new security vulnerabilities to corporate networks. Employees can unknowingly download and attempt to run cloud apps that have been sabotaged, said IBM. IBM's patented invention helps businesses increase their confidence associated with implementing BYOD policies while averting nefarious code before it has a chance to cause any problems.

IBM invests more than $6 billion annually in R&D and has topped the list of U.S. patent recipients for 20 consecutive years.

Cloud Computing in the Classroom
Cloud isn't just for the business world.

The practical uses of cloud computing technology also translate to K-12 classrooms. Simply put, cloud storage saves space, money and time for teachers, parents, students and administrators, according to a recent post on the Huffington Post.

A report by CDW Government found that more than 40 percent of schools use cloud applications to store their data, and by 2016, schools are expected to spend 35 percent of IT budgets on the cloud. The savings add up as well. Right now K-12 schools report that their cloud initiatives are saving them an average of 20 percent on IT costs. By 2016, those savings are expected to reach 27 percent.

How exactly are K-12 schools using cloud computing and what are the benefits?

Here are some of the ways:

  • Stronger communication through access. Through K-12 cloud platforms like Edline, teachers have better communication with parents and students regarding assignments, tests and projects. Parents can log in from anywhere (including their phones or tablets) and instantly know how their kids are progressing. Teachers can post important messages and keep an archive of completed work in one spot.
  • Disaster planning. Schools collect a lot of information on their students and that data impacts decisions and the well-being of the kids. It takes a lot of time to build student databases and maintain them. If a man-made or natural disaster threatened the physical location of school records, whether hard copies or stored on servers, it could mean a catastrophe when it comes to student information. Using cloud computing ensures that student records are secure and accessible, no matter what happens to the physical school building.

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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