While I was away on paternity leave, Computer Weekly published my feature on cloud computing, security and audit trails. Here’s the intro, with a link to the full article below:
“Do you fear the auditor more or the attacker?” asks Peter Bassill, chief information security officer at gambling giant Gala Coral Group.
It is a key question for IT leaders thinking of dabbling in on-demand computing provision through the cloud. For Bassill, there is only one answer, particularly for firms operating in highly regulated sectors: “A lot of companies fear the auditor more. If you hold data internally, you can show the auditor your controls, but the cloud makes such demonstrations more difficult.”
The resulting complications mean many businesses still shy away from on-demand IT. About 40% of UK companies use cloud computing systems, according to the Information Systems Audit and Control Association. This represents a significant proportion of British organisations, but implementation levels – certainly with regards to large-scale enterprise systems – are nowhere near matching the cacophonous intensity of supplier hype.
IT leaders value the opinions of executive and IT team peers when it comes to cost cutting, according to CIO Connect research.
Cost savings continue to be a major priority for IT leaders. Recent research from CIO Connect suggests that cost remains a key business priority for 2010, despite the increased importance of strategies for growth.
And an additional poll from CIO Connect shows that most IT leaders are likely to consider the views of executive and departmental peers when calculating potential cost savings. In both cases, as much as 50% of CIOs suggest the views of either the executive board, or the IT team, are most important.
We’re putting the feelers out for some new research at CIO Connect. The research addresses the relationship between the finance director and CIO – if you’re an IT leader, we’d love to hear from you. Here’s the blurb:
Do you sometimes feel like you’re playing Oliver to your FD’s Mr Bumble? Or have the tough economic conditions provided an opportunity for you to work closely together on IT-driven efficiencies to help cut operational fat?
CIOs expecting budget increase in 2010 are among the lucky few. Only one third are anticipating a bigger slice of the pie, according to a recent survey by analyst group Ovum, and even then expectations are slim – an increase of between just 1% and 5%. Meanwhile, CIOs taking part in a Gartner survey at the beginning of the year said they are planning on IT budgets in 2010 mirroring 2005 levels.
The recession has left its scar and many FDs are wary the economy could bite again in the face of high unemployment and the UK debt burden. Understandably, they are reluctant to dish out more from the organisational pot. With FDs under pressure to keep finances tight, and CIOs hit with greater demands to do more with less, how does this challenging dynamic impact your working relationship?
I’ve just written a feature for Financial Director, which shows that cloud computing has received mixed reviews but can save the FD and CIO money:
The terminology associated with the dark art of business technology can sometimes make finance directors feel as if they are back at school. Bamboozled by a series of buzzwords developed by the technical clique, they could be forgiven for tuning out when the chief information officer (CIO) begins bending their ear.
But the baffling jargon associated with IT obfuscates a business necessity; technology is changing the way business operates and the finance function is not immune to such transformation. What is more, the changes associated with cloud computing – the latest hyped-up killer app in technology – are potentially the most far-reaching yet.
Moving all your databases, systems and software onto an internet-based platform rather than running it through expensive hardware platforms, cloud computing breaks the traditional and costly model of IT purchasing and implementation. Rather than being tied to rigid licensing models for under-used technology, it allows the business to make use of an internet-enabled form of technology provision…