Complete automation is a myth. Absolute agility is a dream. But, the cloud makes it possible to automate those routine processes and activities that would otherwise consume considerable amount of time and deprive the organisation of the precious time that can be spent innovating, communicating, and building up their business.
The first step towards smarter computing is to spell out your rules and policies. These are triggers and frames for intelligent process definitions. For instance, if you want only certain section of your employees to have access to a specified set of data, it is important to have a user management policy. Each employee who can be authorised for access must be given a user id and password that allows access to the data set. The authentication server database must contain the information that is required for authenticating and permitting such employees to access the information. Any other person attempting to access the information will then be automatically rejected and denied access to the data set. Once the policy is in place and the rules of access have been spelled out, the system will take care of the process intelligently.
The cloud allows enmeshing of heterogeneous systems into a single system to increase enterprise reach and improve the agility of the business. This may involve transfer of data and information between these systems across time zones over the Internet. Security during the process of data transfer, and security at the point of data use become a major concern. Cloud service providers use encryption and user management protocols in innovative ways to ensure security of the information passing through the network. Data is encrypted at source and remains encrypted at rest. Only authorised users, who are authenticated by the authentication server, are given access to decrypted information. All others attempting to listen in will be unable to access the decrypted information in any manner. Attempts to listen in also generates alerts that can be tracked to the source.
Organisations that have migrated to the cloud can let go their tight hold on the amount of server / storage resources consumed by individual users. Users will consume only as much resources as they need for the present. The scalability of the cloud precludes the need to provision for and hoard resources against possible future needs. Moreover, users cannot store duplicate pieces of information, indiscriminately consuming space. The backup and recovery software automatically detects duplicate pieces of information and eliminates them during the data transfer to storage repositories.
Interesting? It seems smart! Smart organisations get smarter with cloud computing!