Information Governance for Cloud Computing*

By Monica Crocker CRM, PMP, CIP, and Robert Smallwood

Cloud computing represents one of the most significant paradigm shifts in information technology (IT) history. It may have evolved as an extension of sharing an application-hosting provider, which has been around for a half century and was common in highly regulated vertical industries, such as banks and health care institutions. But cloud computing is a very different computing resource, utilizing advances in IT architecture, system software, improved hardware speeds, and lower storage costs.

The impetus behind cloud computing is that it provides economies of scale by spreading costs across many client organizations and pooling computing resources while matching client computing needs to consumption in a flexible, (nearly) realtime way. Cloud computing can be treated as a utility that is vastly scalable and can be readily modulated, just as the temperature control on your furnace regulates your energy consumption. This approach has great potential, promising on-demand computing power, off-site backups, strong security, and “innovations we cannot yet imagine.”1

When executives hear of the potential cost savings and elimination of capital outlays associated with cloud computing, their ears perk up. Cloud deployments can give users some autonomy and independence from their IT department, and IT departments are enthused to have instant resources at their disposal and to shed ...

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