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Cloud computing implies big changes in business.

A thriving business of any size continues to grow. As business grows, the number of employees grows, revenue grows and eventually, data grows. Threat to data is also increasing by way of accidents or damaged devices. Vast amount of data have accumulated in the last 2 decades or so and managing data is one of the major current challenges to business houses. This data is valuable and has to be stored, backed up, secured, protected and retrieved whenever needed. This is growth of workload for the IT staff and expanding budgets for companies. Storing and saving data implies purchasing more storage devices and managing and monitoring the inflow and outflow of data. Business units have found a convenient solution in cloud technology. Initially it was a hard concept to swallow but gradually, people have begun to rely on it, and are convinced about the security and accessibility of data through cloud computing.

cloud technology

Storing data on cloud has several advantages:

  • It saves energy.
  • It marks decrease in rack space.
  • Cloud technology helps to save significantly on costs because it makes optimal use of hardware and increases the value of server hardware.
  • Use of cloud saves time. Documents and files can be quickly located and stored back within an integrated system instantly, so that they can be quickly located any number of times.
  • If offers a great deal of flexibility across devices. Files can be accessed from any location from any devices.
  • It enhances security
  • It prevents reduplication—sometimes, employees think on the safer side and save files/documents/images/presentations. When the same data is saved by numerous people, it is waste of time and space.
  • Automatic back-up – When data is changed, modified or new data is added, it gets immediate and automatic cloud-backup.
  • Security – Files that have been corrupted or destroyed by natural disasters can be retrieved with bare metal back-up.
  • Quick access – The data can be acquired quickly compared to other offline data.

Outsourcing cloud services

There are companies that specialize in cloud technology and provide services at competitive rates. The best option for small and medium enterprises or expanding units is to trust a service provider share the cloud data back-up. The service provider offers services like security, disaster recovery, de-duplication and real time transaction of data continuously. The company maintains the data, manages it, keeps the updates, provides access to authorized personnel and keeps track of transition from one location to another. The business executives still retain control over the data without having to go into complicated processes and unnecessary expenses.

Small businesses can approach various cloud service providers for different services, taking advantage of their specializations and expertise.

Zerone HiTech is a reliable cloud Accelerate partner designed to provide hosted email, social networking and collaboration and cloud storage to businesses. It included hosted versions of Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, web apps and Microsoft Office 2013. Zerone has sound technical expertise to resolve  issues like data migration from existing service providers, or develop DMS online, archive existing data on cloud etc.

This article excerpt, by Gigya author Suresh Sridharan, originally appeared here: http://cloud-computing.tmcnet….

As the amount of data generated by always-connected consumers continues to increase, IT departments are scrambling to deploy technologies that are able to put that data to use. Understanding how to safely leverage this data using established business systems is a major challenge. Historically, this task fell to legacy identity and access management (IAM) technologies, which could easily manage hundreds or thousands of corporate employee identities and devices. Customer identities and devices, however, number in the millions, and managing that much data exposes several shortcomings in traditional IAM technology.

Scale and Scope

The largest on-premises IAM systems are designed to accommodate users and devices that number in the hundreds of thousands – occasionally, millions. Managing consumer-generated data can multiply those numbers by 100 or more. In addition, IAM solutions integrate primarily with internal applications and processes in order to simplify and enhance the employee or partner experience. Managing consumer identities entails integration with a set of applications that have different functionalities and purposes.

Data Structure

IAM systems are built on highly structured, relational data schemas. However, the majority of consumer data is unstructured. In order for these unstructured attributes to have value, they must be normalized so they can be queried alongside structured data.


IAM providers use perimeter-based security measures that are less-effective when handling customer identity data that must interact with multiple third-party services and identity providers, while remaining relevant and secure as profiles are progressively built over time.

Initially, IT professionals addressed these shortcomings by adapting IAM systems or building custom solutions themselves. Now, specialized customer identity and access management (cIAM) vendors are developing cloud-based platforms to manage the volumes of unstructured consumer data and generate actionable insights. Best-in-breed cIAM systems feature:

  • Enhanced user experiences – Self-service registration and password management plus single sign-on access across websites, mobile applications and other Web properties reduces friction and drives customer engagement.
  • Valuable customer insights – Omni-channel data synchronization maintains a single, definitive customer view gained through functionality – such as progressive profiling – which provides a deeper understanding of customers and builds trust over time.
  • Security and compliance – API-focused transactional security, data encryption and redundancy, plus automatic compliance with social network privacy policies and government regulations keep businesses safe and compliant in a changing marketplace.
  • Robust cloud platform – The cloud’s flexibility enables plug-and-play integrations that accelerate time-to-market, as well as scalable architectures for rapid change and growth. The streamlined deployment process reduces development costs associated with custom integrations.

Cloud-based cIAM platforms offload the burden of safely managing structured and unstructured customer data. The technology excels at connecting multiple APIs in a multi-tenant environment, delivers extreme operational flexibility, and includes built-in software integrations for greater agility and flexibility. Customer and internal data assets remain discreet, minimizing the impact of breaches.

Security Takes Center Stage

Cloud and on-premises solutions face the same types of attacks and breaches. According to a 2014 Alert Logic Cloud Security Report, overall attacks remain much more likely to occur in on-premises environments than in the cloud. But, breaches are on the rise in cloud-based environments, likely due to wider adoption of cloud-based over on-premises solutions, and the migration of “higher value” data into the cloud. In response, cloud providers strive to build strong security measures into their core architectures.

Cloud-based cIAM platforms rely on API-focused security, rather than firewalls, which tend to control access for classes of users. These identity-based security policies have evolved with cloud technology. API-based protocols used by identity providers have a largely open-source background, allowing them to easily adapt. Best practices for working with self-provisioned identities indicate that each transaction should carry within it the attributes required to authenticate and authorize users.

Since leveraged customer data will typically be acted on at many endpoints, best-in-breed cIAM solutions have strong authentication, authorization and auditing policies in place, such as OAuth 2.0 and SAML. In addition, personally identifiable information is encrypted when stored and transmitted. Strong roles and permissions policies enforce tight control over user access, and robust audit logging tracks errors and bugs in the system.

Finally, risk-based authentication minimizes friction for users by evaluating risk on each login instance and triggering a two-factor authentication only when necessary. As the “Internet of Things” grows in scale and complexity, this methodology will become increasingly important for practically all digital transactions.

Best-in-breed cIAM platforms also provide auto-compliance with data-privacy policies. A recent survey found that 96 percent of U.S. consumers are at least somewhat concerned about their data privacy. Working with user-provisioned data means businesses must stay in compliance with frequently changing social network privacy policies, as well as with government regulations that apply to any service that interacts with that data. Maintaining this level of compliance on an ongoing basis is risky and time-consuming. Cloud cIAM solutions automate this process.

Cloud Platforms Deliver the Best Solution for Managing Customer Identity Data

Many revenue-driving business systems rely on customer identity management functionality that is outside of the scope of legacy IAM technology. Best-in-breed cloud-based cIAM platforms offer a streamlined deployment that shortens time-to-market, scales to fit business needs, and enables faster and easier integration with applications that help businesses monetize their customer data. Finally, cIAM’s API-based security ensures more secure transactions, while building customer trust and protecting data privacy.

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