fbpx Skip to content

Cloud computing: A data-centric business model

Transformation Infrastructure

By pwsadmin | September 26, 2020

Hybrid IT enables a composable infrastructure which describes a framework whose physical compute, storage, and network fabric resources are treated as services. Resources are logically pooled so that administrators need to physically configure hardware to support a specific software application, which describes the function of a composable architecture. This type of transformative infrastructure is foundational…

Essential Characteristics of Cloud Computing as Digital Transformation

By pwsadmin | September 25, 2020

A survey of 2,000 executives conducted by Cognizant in 2016 identified the top five ways digital transformations generate value:      Accelerating speed to market      Strengthening competitive positioning      Boosting revenue growth      Raising employee productivity      Expanding the ability to acquire, engage, and retain customers   Digital transformation is also a cultural change. Cloud Computing as Digital Transformation Since cloud…

Embrace Transformation

By pwsadmin | September 22, 2020

From a business perspective, differentiating business processes and quality customer service are central to overall success. Business leaders must therefore clearly identify and measure how information technology contributes to the value of every key business process. They must also know how to most cost effectively use IT when the task is merely the management of…

Computer Vision Advances Zero-Defect Manufacturing

By pwsadmin | July 25, 2020

by Kevin L. Jackson Electronics manufacturers operate in a challenging environment. It’s hard enough to keep up with the ever-accelerating rate of change in the industry. Now customers want increasingly specialized product variations in less time and of higher quality. Meeting this demand for increased product variation can seriously impact the bottom line. Such variability increases…

Real-Time Analytics Power the Roadway of the Future

By pwsadmin | July 25, 2020

By Kevin L. Jackson The complexities of citywide traffic are pushing the limits of existing transportation management systems. Outdated infrastructure is based on proprietary, single-purpose subsystems, making it costly to acquire, operate, and maintain. And current roadways are simply not prepared for the future of autonomous vehicles. Enter the SPaT Challenge, an initiative encouraging cities and…

Thriving on the Edge: Developing CSP Edge Computing Strategy

By pwsadmin | March 6, 2020

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are facing significant business model challenges. Referred to generally as edge computing, the possibilities introduced by the blending of 5G networks and distributed cloud computing technologies are redefining how CSPs operate, partner, and drive revenue. A new Ericsson Digital whitepaper entitled, “Edge computing and deployment strategies for communication service providers,” addresses these challenges…

SourceConnecte! Marketplace With A Mission

By pwsadmin | March 6, 2020

Earlier this year, GC GlobalNet launched a new breed of B2B e-commerce sites. Curated by Kevin L. Jackson, SourceConnecte (with an “e”) went live with three strategic goals in mind: Efficiently leverage modern social media technologies to facilitate value-based interactions between enterprise buyers and vetted suppliers; Establish a protected interactive environment capable of supporting high-value B2B e-commerce negotiations…

Potential vs. Reality: Is Edge Computing Real?

By pwsadmin | January 19, 2020

Edge computing provides compute, storage, and networking resources close to devices generating traffic. Its benefits are based on an ability to provide new services capable of meeting stringent operational requirements by minimizing both data latency and the need for bandwidth. Based on Google trend data, searches for the term has also grown substantially over the…

Enabling Digital Transformation

By pwsadmin | December 22, 2019

Digital transformation integrates technology into all areas of an organization’s business or mission. Its fundamental purpose is to create and deliver innovative and industry-changing products and services to a global customer base. This outcome requires the seamless two-way flow of data and information between internal business processes and external processes that interact with customers, business…

The ThinkShield Story Part 1: The Challenge

By G C Network | October 24, 2019

The cybersecurity challenge seems to be growing daily. Threats are becoming more sophisticated, and attacks are becoming more destructive while the corporate world’s response seems to resemble a deer in headlights. Recent examples of this dangerous state of affairs include[1]: A data breach of a US Customs and Border Protection surveillance contractor that led to…

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology:

“Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management.”


While this definition is broadly accepted and has, in fact, been my adopted standard for years, it only describes technical aspects of cloud computing.

The amalgamation of technologies used to deliver cloud services is not even half the story. Above all else, the successful employment requires a tight linkage to the economic and business models of the enterprise. Critical components for any transition to cloud include:

  •         Enterprise economic model
  •         Organizational goals (financial and operational)
  •         Enterprise operational model
  •         Relevant operational processes
  •         Relevant operational resources
  •         Process relevant data
  •         Data classification (e.g. severity of enterprise damage if the data is used improperly)
  •         Risk identification and management
  •         Security controls
  •         Process automation

Taking all of these components in total, cloud computing is a business model for propelling an enterprise towards its economic and operational goals. This is why cloud computing transitions cannot be left as a task for the information technology team.

The most central aspect of any business is data because data is the fuel for all business processes. The custodian of this data is the business owner. The technical aspects of cloud computing are only tools for the provisioning, manipulating and storing of data. Decisions on all aspects of any cloud computing deployment must therefore be purposely driven by business process owners. The IT Team acts as the trusted technology advisor to and the technology execution arm of the business process owners. On the flip side, the business process owner must act as the trusted business advisor to and business execution arm of the IT Team. This defines why collaboration is essential in the delivery of a cloud computing solution. It also explains why the object of this collaboration must be business data.

Data-centric collaboration explicitly addresses how an organization handles each business data-type throughout its lifecycle. In recommending industry best practices for security, the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, would recommend the use of the data security lifecycle:

Figure 1- Secure data lifecycle, Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CCSP, Domain 2
  • Create: The generation of new digital content or the alteration/updating/modifying of existing content. This phase can happen internally in the cloud or externally and then the data is imported into the cloud. The creation phase where data classification and encryption is implemented. During this lifecycle phase, data can be vulnerable to attackers if access control list are not well implemented or enforced. Correct threat scanning processes and data classification are also critical.
  • Store: The act of committing digital data to a storage repository typically occurs nearly simultaneously with creation. Controls such as encryption, access policy and backups should be implemented to avoid data threats.
  • Use: Data is viewed, processed, or otherwise used in some sort of activity, not including modification. Data in use is most vulnerable because it is might be transported into unsecure location. Controls such as DLP (digital loss prevention), IRM (information rights management) and database and file access monitors should be implemented in order to audit data access and prevent unauthorized access.
  • Share: Information is made accessible to others. Not all data should be shared, and not all sharing should present a threat. Since shared data is no longer in control of the organization, this is a very challenging phase to perform securely. Technologies such as DLP can be used to detect unauthorized sharing, and IRM technologies can be used to maintain control over the information.
  • Archive: Data leaves active use and enters long-term storage. Cost vs. availability trades based on business considerations must drive data access procedures. Regulatory requirements must also be addressed.
  • Destroy: The data is removed from the cloud provider. Destruction options are driven by usage, data content and applications. Data destruction can mean logical erase of pointers or permanently data destruction using physical or digital means.

The handling of each datatype should also be defined in terms of:

  • The actors that potentially have access to the data;
  • Potential locations for the data;
  • The types of security controls present in each potential location; and

Allowable functions in each potential location include:

Figure 2-  Identifying the functions, Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CCSP, Domain 2
  • Access: View/access the data, including copying, file transfers, and other exchanges of information;
  • Process: Perform a transaction on the data: update it, use it in a business processing transaction, etc.; and
  • Store: Store the data (in a file, database, etc.).

Figure 3- Mapping key data functions to the data security lifecycle. Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CCSP, Domain 2 

The data-centric approach is crucial as more enterprises adopt the hybrid cloud model. According to Gartner, nearly half of all large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.  Dell, in fact, lists security and management as one of five essential consideration for hybrid cloud saying that, “Customers can now manage their own encryption keys when using a public cloud data store, and vendors like Dropbox, OneDrive and others can integrate with IT systems so that data is transparently encrypted on its way from users’ workstations to public cloud services without any additional steps on the part of the end user.”

A data-centric business model abandons the typical infrastructure-centric security model by adopting an explicit assumption that the IT infrastructure cannot be trusted to protect business data. Embedded in that assumption are also requirements for the encryption of all data-at-rest, data-in-motion and, if possible, data-in-use. An effective transition to cloud computing demands the adoption of a data-centric business model and the equally important broad use of encryption technologies.

This post was written as part of the Dell Insight Partners program, which provides news and analysis about the evolving world of tech. Dell sponsored this article, but the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent Dell’s positions or strategies.

Cloud Musings

( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS – © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2015)

Follow me at https://Twitter.com/Kevin_Jackson
Posted in

G C Network

Leave a Comment





Crate

Purchase Crate

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.

Checkout
Scroll To Top