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Cloud Computing and "The New Normal"

For the better part of this week, I couldn't seem to get my head out of the clouds.

For the better part of this week, I couldn't seem to get my head out of the clouds.

That is, this week I spent some time at the Cloud Computing Expo in New York, as well as discussing general cloud concepts with several sources to gather background for Bank Systems & Technology's June digital issue. To say the least, most people I spoke with were enthusiastic about the cloud - an on-demand, shared computing resources environment that strays from the traditional concept of proprietary client servers. But it's for good reason: it's becoming more apparent cloud computing is here to stay, and that the concept is something more and more CIOs and IT professionals are adapting to.

"A lot of companies are looking at what makes sense for them in the cloud," said Tim Brown, CA Security Management SVP and chief architect.

While in some cases, startups are diving head first into the cloud, some businesses are using it as an environment to test new and smaller projects, said Tony Hernandez managing director at expert services and consulting firm LEGC SMART. Because the nature of cloud computing allows those using it to pay as they go and scale services appropriately depending on demand, it's a low-cost option for a lot of businesses.

But, he added, cloud computing is also an exercise in "the idea that you're handing the keys to the kingdom over to someone else and you're trusting them." Where information security is all about trust, and typically trust of internal staff, the cloud's nature of outsourced data management turns that trust inside out.

That idea of trusting outsiders, however, is becoming the norm for many businesses that seek the potential cost savings and flexibility offered by the cloud. And a term that you'll often hear tossed around when discussing cloud computing is "the new normal." Of course, how that translates for the banking industry is where my interest in the cloud takes me next. It should be interesting to learn how it's being adopted.

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