Surprise: Open Source Technology Is Preferable to the Cloud – Study



Sep 18, 2012 –


Open source software is more trustworthy than using a cloud service, according to a 2012 study by a distinguished British IT expert, Professor Jim Norton FREng. The “Open for Business” study was underwritten by travel industry IT services group Amadeus.

“The benefits to enterprise customers are manifold and include greater and swifter innovation, increased responsiveness, enhanced systems accessibility and support,” wrote the professor in a blog. “The first two in particular make the open systems as much a business as an IT issue.”

Professor Norton warns about cloud interoperability issues, and says it’s too difficult to audit the security of hosted services. He says open source software is probably 20 percent cheaper than cloud services.

ID-100285483 Nongkran_chAlso, he says customers of businesses using open source systems will also benefit.

“These include lower total cost of ownership, the ability to attract highly skilled and talented staff, quicker access to new technology developments and access to a global community for quick problem resolution,” the professor explains.

But moving to open source systems is not a slam dunk. It might not be suitable for all organizations.

“Some of the learnings include: Ensuring that there is a common support team for both the new and current systems, being realistic about the amount of resources required, only transferring what you need and using the transition as an opportunity for a cleanup of systems architecture,” he writes.

“Even in demanding high-volume transaction processing environments, open systems have proven not just fit for purpose, but critical to helping industries as diverse as financial services, banking and transport to adapt and transform how they operate,” he points out.

While Professor Norton says open source software is ideal with “greater agility and cost reduction” for the travel industry, other sectors should consider it.

“With information now one of the world’s most powerful currencies, and innovation and speed of response key competitive weapons, open systems will be crucial to underpinning the winning commercial strategies of the future in all sectors,” he asserts.

See Professor Norton’s credentials here.

From the Coach’s Corner, additional reading: 

Risk Management – Picking the Best Cloud Storage Provider — You have a vast array of options. Cost is important, of course, but so are your company’s risk-management needs – just like the federal government.

Recruiting an IT Professional for Your Small Firm? 6 Tips for the Right Skills — Are you looking to add information technology personnel? You want to hire for a competitive edge, right? IT is a crucial position for you. The difference between failure and success requires reflection to hire for the right competencies.

How to Enhance Security in Your Company’s Wireless Network  — Do you take it for granted that your wireless network is secure? Don’t make that assumption. Wireless routers present dangers. Your router is vulnerable to hackers and, hence, security issues. If you’re really serious about security, WIFI might not be for you. A wired network might be more desirable.

Software Technology Trends – What’s Next? — We can agree the software industry has undergone dynamic changes as it continues to modernize. That’s true, too, as the industry stakeholders form alliances and partnerships. The focus is on tailoring software for the end-user or customer.

9 Dos and Don’ts for Best Decision-making — The dos and don’ts for best decision-making are applicable in three ways: Whether you have difficulty making the best decisions, engage in self doubt after making one, or are gun shy because some of your decisions have failed you.

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.”
-Gertrude Stein


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of Nongkran_ch at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Risk Management – Picking the Best Cloud Storage Provider



There’s been quite a buzz about using the cloud. Personally, I’m still not sold on using cloud services for many businesses.

There have been too many problems, and I prefer to maintain controls to alleviate uncertainty in business.

But companies such as IBM continue to tout what they call success.

IBM explains in this video:

Aside from the pride that IBM shows, one of the lessons I learned very early — when there’s a lot of hype — go slow with due diligence.

Frankly, I’m not alone.

Critical cloud study

A heavily credentialed expert performed a study and provides this surprise: Open source technology is preferable to the cloud.

But if you feel you must go the cloud route, remember choosing the right cloud storage provider is a must for risk management.

You have a vast array of options. Cost is important, of course, but so are your company’s risk-management needs – just like the federal government.

It’s took two years, but the government launched FedRamp, the federal risk and authorization program.

It established security standards for providing cloud services to the government.

FedRAMP also provides agencies with monitoring tools to insure continuous compliance with security standards. Those are important considerations.

Risk-management for your business

Here are 10 questions to ask of your prospective cloud provider:

1. If they’re a large provider, has the vendor been qualified by FedRAMP?

2. What is the company’s financial situation? Bankruptcies are prevalent. Have a frank discussion with the supplier. Find out if they expect to gain or lose business in the next year. And ask about their cash flow, and for references regarding the status of their banking relationships.

3. What would be their total charges? Is it a flat fee? What are the additional costs for storing each gigabyte or for transferring data?

4. What about the security of their services, privacy commitment and data protection, and what does their service level agreement (SLA) provide? Keep in mind commitments for performance and reliability, and what happens if they fail to perform according to the SLA.

5. What do they provide in the way of data availability each month? What will be the percentage of time you will be able to get into your data or add new data?

6. What do they provide in data transfer rates? Data storage is important, but so is your ability to rapidly transfer your data.

7. What level of data durability do they offer? That is the amount of potential data loss from data corruption.

8. Does the vendor provide data shuffle or bare metal service? This service is a hard copy backup. Will you be able to present a hard-drive data copy to the cloud or will you be able to retrieve a copy of your data?

9. What do they support in operating systems? Make certain they’re capable of working with all your operating systems.

10. What are their backup services? You’ll have problems if they simply backup your data. You’ll also want assurances that they will back up all your computer applications and operating system, and will provide virtual servers for crashed systems.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are recommended articles:

The New Face of $1 Trillion in Cybercrime on Business – Account Takeovers, Credit Card Fraud — Business Web sites are facing an increasingly intense full-court press from cybercriminals – the aggregate cost of cybercrime annually, which includes prevention strategies, has exceeded $1 trillion. 

Security Steps for Your Mobile Device in Online Banking, Purchases — Almost 90 percent of Americans use a cell phone and more than 50 percent have smartphones, according to published reports. They also indicate 28 percent of smartphone owners use their devices for online banking.

How to Enhance Security in Your Company’s Wireless Network — Do you take it for granted that your wireless network is secure? Don’t make that assumption. Wireless routers present dangers. Your router is vulnerable to hackers and, hence, security issues. If you’re really serious about security, WIFI might not be for you. A wired network might be more desirable. 

How Small Businesses Can Profit from Cyber Strategies — Yes, it’s become important for small businesses to capitalize on cyber strategies for profit. Small and even regional retailers should be cognizant of three realities: Potential customers probably think that national chains have easier-to-shop Web sites. Big retailers have lower prices.

“It’s not a faith in technology. It’s faith in people.”
Steve Jobs

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.