‘Security, pricing issues need to be worked out before moving to the cloud’

by Abhinna Shreshtha    Aug 27, 2010

Cloud ComputingN.Nataraj, CIO of Hexaware Technologies feels cloud computing will create huge opportunities for service providers and IT organizations. However, a lot of groundwork still remains to be done, he cautions. Excerpts from the interaction.

Is there a possibility that cloud computing will provide alternate revenue opportunities to service providers?

Yes, this opens up a huge opportunity to service providers and the same can be offered to customers through reduced license pricing for customers in traditional mode compared to customer-owned software. Software can be offered through on-demand model which will have usage-based charging mechanism to customers. By opting for this method customers need not pay a huge upfront sum towards software.

What is your strategy for cloud computing? What kind of projects are you looking at?

We are on the verge of creating our own private cloud in phase 1 and further enhancing it to be federated with public clouds in the next phase. We will be offering Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

Security is a big challenge in cloud computing. The way forward is to adapt to a multi tenancy capable delivery system that addresses security concerns. We are adopting guidelines given by the Cloud Security Alliance.

Cloud computing changes the way we address business continuity. It gives you the power and ability to protect all the service at a much lesser cost. In a cloud scenario, service providers have the cloud setup in more than one location. DR and business continuity planning from the customer perspective will be limited to the end user setup from the site perspective / connectivity from customer location to cloud. Some service providers are also offering BCP / DR to private cloud owned by customers.

According to analysts, a concern is that service providers promise too much and then fail to deliver, which adds to the distrust surrounding the cloud. What are your views on this matter?

It is very important for customers to select a proper service provider as cloud computing is not only about offering hardware and bandwidth. Customers need to look at the service provider’s experience in handling applications.

What, according to you, are the main issues that still need to be worked out?

While most of the cloud aspects are still in the discussion stage, it is very important for Indian IT organizations to come out with a working model on migration of customer applications to the cloud and for SLA and transaction-based cloud model. The definition of cloud computing also needs to be standardized. Other aspects are pricing and, of course, security.

Also, applications need to be custom-designed for cloud computing. We already see a lot of applications including ERP offered on a SaaS model but application security needs to be completely aligned with cloud computing standards.