Make us your home page

Storing data on remote servers known as "the cloud" gaining popularity on main street

There's been a lot of talk about putting more information into the "cloud," though it hasn't exactly hit the mainstream.

But that is changing as people become more comfortable with the idea of having their data and applications stored on a remote, managed server. And the concept is sure to get more attention after Apple chief executive Steve Jobs introduced the iCloud on Monday at a developers' conference.

Industries that already made some use of cloud computing — whether done internally or by using an outside provider — are starting to do more with it. One is the financial services industry, known for handling sensitive information and following strict regulations.

Mike Eaton, founder and CEO of Cloudworks in Westlake Village, Calif., said it's not surprising that banks, credit unions, brokers and others are stepping into the cloud.

"A lot of financial services have had some component of their business in the cloud before," he said, adding later, "They now see they can put all of their eggs in that basket."

Building the infrastructure to protect information is expensive, Eaton said. But companies such as Cloudworks offer a cost-effective way — for small banks and credit unions — to build in the redundancies and security they need, he said.

For larger firms, size and the need for control might drive them to keep operations in-house, while using the basic premise of the cloud — storing everything remotely with backups in place.

In an April report, Forrester Research predicted the cloud-computing industry would grow from a $40.7 billion global market in 2011 to $241 billion in total revenues by 2020. It cited factors such as the economy and the demand for flexibility in software and hardware in driving some of that growth. Companies using cloud-based services — particularly those provided by an outside party — can quickly expand or cut the system or applications to meet their needs.

Across industries, the trend is toward more widespread adoption of cloud-based systems.

But some concerns remain.

The security and log management firm LogLogic reported on its recent survey, that many financial services firms still have data security and transparency concerns.

The survey found that 34 percent of respondents believe cloud computing was not strategic to their company.

"While the cloud holds many benefits for the enterprise, we're not surprised to see that financial services firms are hesitant to adopt cloud computing," LogLogic CEO Guy Churchward said in a statement.

He said cloud computing providers must address security and transparency before there is more mainstream adoption among financial services firms.

Corporate leaders in that industry are no different from those in any other, Eaton said. "I don't think anybody considers their data to be trivial, whether they're manufacturing electrical components or a bank."

The difference is that financial institutions have regulators overseeing how they are managing data as well, he said.

Storing data on remote servers known as "the cloud" gaining popularity on main street 06/07/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 9:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Former Sen. Greg Evers, advocate for law enforcement, dead at 62.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Former State Sen. Greg Evers, the Baker Florida strawberry farmer and veteran politician, was killed in a single car crash hear his home in Okaloosa County. The Florida Highway Patrol confirmed the death late Tuesday, but deferred any further information pending an investigation. He was 62.

    Former Florida Senator Greg Evers, R- Milton, was a passionate advocate for law enforcement and corrections officers. He was found dead Tuesday afternoon in a car crash. He was 62. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Foundation Partners buys Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home


    ST. PETERSBURG — Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, the Tampa Bay area's largest family-owned funeral company, has been sold.

    Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, the Tampa Bay area's largest family-owned funeral company, has been sold.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Water Street Tampa unveils video showing downtown's transformation


    TAMPA — Water Street Tampa, the sweeping, 50-plus acre redevelopment project in Tampa's urban core, has unveiled new images and video of what the downtown district will look like upon completion.

    Strategic Property Partners released a conceptual image of what the Tampa skyline will look like once its redevelopment of 50-plus acres of downtown will look like. [Photo courtesy of  of SPP]
  4. Florida ranks high for workplace equality between men and women

    Working Life

    When it comes to the workplace, Florida ranks fifth in terms of gender equality, a WalletHub study released Tuesday found.

    Florida ranks high in terms of equality between men and women in the workplace. Pictured is Sandra Murman, county commissioner in 2015, talking about the differences in pay between men and women. | [Times file photo]
  5. Treasury secretary's wife boasts of travel on government plane, touts high fashion


    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's wife, Louise Linton, boasted of flying on a government plane with her husband to Kentucky on Monday and then named the numerous fashion brands she wore on the trip in an unusual social media post that only became more bizarre minutes later.

    Steven Mnuchin and his then- financee Louise Linton watch as President Donald Trump speaks during Mnuchin's swearing-in ceremony as  treasury secretary in the Oval Office of the White House on Feb. 13. [Mandel Ngan | AFP via Getty Images]