Telecoms and cloud computing: a perfect match


While ‘Cloud’ might
be an overused word to describe what is effectively a natural evolution in
terms of how existing technology is leveraged, businesses need to do more to
harness the opportunity it provides. After all the hype, cloud computing is now
really beginning to get traction, and not just in the smaller enterprises; a
recent international survey by Ovum of more than 100 multinational corporations
found a 60 per cent increase in the take-up of cloud services among large
organisations over the last year. The strongest showing is in Asia, which
boasts an uptake of at least 63 per cent.


The survey also shows
that enterprises have already moved significant resources to the cloud and are
ready to move more application services. The dominant areas of cloud services
uptake are in data backup and storage, at 51 per cent of respondents, with an
additional 33 per cent reporting their intention to procure cloud data backup
and storage services in the next 24 months. 


The Ovum survey also
found that telecommunications providers are emerging as trusted partners for
cloud computing. A year ago 37 per cent of enterprise users rated
telecommunications providers as credible suppliers, but this has increased to
49 per cent in 2011. This is attributed to their capabilities in both managed
hosting and managed networks.


This trend is
occurring as, fundamentally, all cloud services need to be positioned on a
strong network platform. Without this communications layer, cloud computing
cannot take place. Although cloud computing providers do provide this kind of
network, telecommunications providers are extremely well-positioned to provide
a very robust communications layer. Major telecommunications providers have the
expertise in combining their network with managing data centres and they can
use this expertise in building competitive advantage as compared to other
players. They will be able to provide the essential bandwidth required, plus
they already have the necessary experience at hand when it comes to delivering
infrastructure. It is simply a matter of extending their core competencies into
the cloud space.


However, fifty-eight
per cent of respondents in the same Ovum survey noted that security remains the
largest barrier to the adoption of cloud computing with 69 per cent of
respondents stating that the use of the public internet was a significant or
major barrier to uptake.
Financial services companies and
manufacturers were most likely to cite security as a critical barrier that
hinders them from moving into the cloud.


The best way to
secure the cloud computing environment, and to ensure application performance,
is to make sure that the prime access routes are via the organisation’s own
internal network (Wide Area Network), not the internet. By placing services in
a secure cloud environment within the Wide Area Network, and using the
established methods of data separation, data becomes intrinsically safer, and
performance is not only better, but can also be managed by advanced Application
Performance Management networking tools.


Therefore, in order
for cloud services to really penetrate the enterprise market, robust and secure
hosting environments need to be combined with resilient, high performing and
secure next-generation networks, and both need to be ensured with stringent
Service Level Agreements.


providers already have these issues covered: the all important security question,
the expertise, the facilities and the infrastructure in place for providing
hosted services. Moreover, cloud computing has been looked on as the ultimate
managed service and telecommunications providers have been in the managed
service market for a long time.


The future of IT
holds one thing for certain, growth will come from those businesses that are
prepared to innovate and make bold decisions with the courage to move to the
cloud, and telecommunications providers are the perfect match to capitalise on
this opportunity.


By Geetika Saigal,
director – Enterprise Sales, India at Cable & Wireless

[email protected]