Blog posts by Mike Small

Blog

Cloud Provider Assurance

Using the cloud involves an element of trust between the consumer and the provider of a cloud service; however, it is vital to verify that this trust is well founded. Assurance is the process that provides this verification. This article summarizes the steps a cloud customer needs to take to assure that cloud a service provides what is needed and what was agreed. The first step towards assuring a cloud service is to understand the business requirements for it. The needs for cost, compliance and security follow directly from these requirements. There is no absolute assurance level for a...

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EU Guidelines for Service Level Agreements for Cloud Computing

In a press release on June 26 th , the European Commission announced the publication of new guidelines “help EU businesses use the Cloud”.  These guidelines have been developed by a Cloud Select Industry Group as part of the Commission’s European Cloud Strategy to increase trust in these services.  These guidelines cover SLAs (Service Level Agreements) for cloud services.  In KuppingerCole’s opinion these guidelines are a good start but are not a complete answer to the concerns of individuals and businesses choosing to use cloud services. Cloud services are important as they...

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AWS: Great Security but can you Trust a US Owned Cloud Service?

Cloud computing provides an unparalleled opportunity for new businesses to emerge and for existing businesses to reduce costs and improve the services to their customer.  However the revelations of Snowden and the continuing disclosure of state sponsored interception and hacking undermine confidence in cloud service providers.  In this environment CSPs need to go the extra mile to prove that their services are trustworthy. In general there are two kinds of customers that are adopting cloud computing.  The first kind is the so called “born on the cloud” customers who are starting new...

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IBM’s Software Defined Environment

In IBM’s view the kinds of IT applications that organizations are creating is changing from internal facing systems to external facing systems.  IBM calls these kinds of systems “systems of record” and “systems of engagement” respectively.  The systems of record represent the traditional applications that ensure that the internal aspects of the business run smoothly and the organization is financially well governed.  The systems of engagement exploit the new wave of technology that is being used by customers and partners and which takes the form of social and mobile computing.  In IBM’s...

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Card Clash on the London Underground

Recently there have been posters in London Underground stations warning users of Oyster Cards - the Transport for London (TfL) NFC enabled electronic travel wallet - that there is a risk of “card clash”.  These posters warn that they need to keep other contactless NFC payment cards separate from their Oyster Card when they “touch in” on a bus to avoid the risk that the wrong card would be charged.  TfL will be rolling out the ability to use NFC enabled payment cards on the Tube (London Underground), Overground and DLR later in 2014, and this could lead to further problems.  The charges...

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IBM Bets on the Cloud

IBM has recently made a number of major announcements and these are linked.  In December 2013 IBM announced the acquisition of FiberLink a privately held mobile management and security company.  Then on January 23 rd it announced that Lenovo plans to acquire IBM’s x86 server business .  Lastly on February 24 th it made a series of announcements around its cloud offerings.   These announcements illustrate the changing way in which IT services are being delivered.  This is shifting from an in house model focused on improving the efficiency of internal processes to a more flexible one...

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Cyber Security for the Citizen and SME

This week the UK government launched the Cyber Street programme to improve the cyber security of UK residents and SMEs.  This is complemented by a Cyber to the Citizen initiative from the BCS – (The UK Chartered Institute for IT). The background to this is the continuing concern that most cyber-crime is opportunistic and could be prevented if people consistently took simple measures.  For example UK GCHQ estimates that 80 per cent of all cybercrime could be prevented by basic cyber hygiene measures, saving the UK economy billions of pounds annually. The campaign aims to increase...

Blog

Cloud Standards – Complex but not a Jungle according to ETSI!

In September 2013 the European Commission (EC) published the strategy to “to create single set of rules for cloud computing and increase EU GDP by €160 billion annually by 2020”. This strategy identified a number of key actions one of these being “Cutting through the Jungle of Standards”.   Following a request from the European Commission, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) launched the Cloud Standards Coordination (CSC) initiative.  In November 2013 ETSI published its final report from the CSC initiative .    According to this report “the Cloud Standards...

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Smarter Risk

According to IBM a consistent way to manage all types of risk is the key to success for financial services organizations.  To support this IBM will be rolling out their Smarter Risk offering during Q1 2014.  Failure to properly manage risk has been alleged to be the cause of the financial crisis and, to force financial services organizations to better manage risk, the regulators around the world are introducing tougher rules. The underlying causes of the damaging financial crisis can be traced back to the management of risk.  Financial services organizations need to hold capital to...

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Salesforce Identity

Today Salesforce.com announced the general availability of Salesforce Identity – what does this mean for customers and the IAM market? In some ways this is not a completely new product, Salesforce.com CRM customers have been using much of this for some time.  However what is announced today extends the functionalities of this way beyond what previously existed.  Salesforce Identity provides a web single sign on capability that can be white labelled and which can be based on authentication by Salesforce.com or a number of other trusted identity providers.  The Salesforce.com...


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