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Chris Dotson - Chris Dotson is currently the Worldwide Infrastructure Architect for Infrastructure and Provisioning Requirements in IBM's CIO office. In this role, Chris is involved in many different cloud initiatives in IBM, with a specific focus on cloud security. Prior to that, Chris was the lead architect for the IBM CIO Dev/Test Cloud, an internal private cloud within IBM created in 2009 that provides infrastructure services to developers and testers. Chris currently holds twelve professional certifications, including the Open Group Master Certified IT Architect certification.

Cloud: The Rewards Outweigh the Risks


Many companies implement cloud first for the efficiency and cost savings. Another crucial feature is the self service aspect of cloud computing, which is similar to having ATMs at banks in addition to tellers. Overall self service is a good thing: With the speed provided by automation, and with fewer people in the process, businesses can be more agile. Coordination between systems that might have taken three teams, five meetings, and 15 people can be accomplished in an afternoon.

It's no longer just about efficiency, but about agility: The ability to get results with fewer players and in less time. It's hard to measure, of course. How do you quantify agility? How much is actually saved when employees don't have to fill out forms and wait weeks for the Information Technology (IT) that they need?

That's the good news. The bad news? Most technologies solve two problems and create one. Cloud computing has the potential to be a governance problem, for strategy alignment, for regulatory compliance, and particularly for security. Looking back 20 years ago, there were lots of security concerns about connecting to the Internet. Security experts said that companies would get hacked, embarrassed, lose critical data, and even be put out of business, and they were absolutely right. However, since most systems need to be hooked up to the Internet, it's a risk that we have to accept to compete in business, and mitigate as much as possible.

With cloud computing, there are new attacks possible, but fundamentally the equation is the same. The benefits outweigh the risks. Most IT departments will have to adopt a cloud model suitable to their business needs, or the organization will work around the IT department. Or worse, the entire organization will fall behind the competition.

IBM-InfographicRightRail.jpgDiscover more. Click to view our infographic on how the cloud drives business transformation.

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