Cloud Computing: Turning Big Data into Business Insight

Today there is an unprecedented amount of information, often referred to as Big Data, being collected in our society. Using big data strategically can create value for businesses by making information transparent and usable at a much higher frequency; and moving to the cloud can lead to significant security advantages over the existing distributed systems model.

For organizations, big data may involve higher level services in apps that may lead to saving time, cost and resources. Companies are using information to help solve important social and economic problems and make sense of data that can lead to new business insights and decisions. In Scott Charney’s Trustworthy Computing Next whitepaper, he profiles big data and cloud security trends over the next decade. Here are a few key excerpts:

Cloud computing and our connected society will create vast amounts of data, which will create new challenges and new opportunities for businesses:

• First, the world has a significant shortage of computer security professionals, a problem that is not likely to be solved in the short term.  Many small organizations may have no IT staff, let alone security experts. To the extent cloud providers enable a centralization of security expertise in large data centers and adhere to emerging international standards of operational security, security may be increased dramatically over time.
• Second, the centralization of data, combined with better monitoring tools, may permit better protection than exists in today’s massively distributed world, where monitoring may not be rigorous in all organizations and correlating data among organizations remains difficult.
• Third, much of the code created for the cloud itself (e.g., Windows Azure, an operating system for the cloud, and virtualization technologies) was created after the implementation of secure development practices like the SDL, thus helping to ensure better security code quality.
• Fourth, in a world increasingly composed of sandboxed applications that are gated through “app stores,” more users may be downloading applications from known sources (or sources for which there is substantial reputational data) and those sources may have better security controls in place to respond if an application proves malicious.

Making meaningful sense of data for business value is critical in this age of information explosion. Interfaces to predictive modeling and business intelligence solutions will provide the necessary insights for driving better business decisions.

A customer’s application portfolio needs to keep pace with their changing business so they are able to turn ambient data into powerful business insights and efficiently innovate with a cloud solution that is best suited for their business. This agility allows business leaders to stay focused on the future. Share your thoughts below on this big data age of information and learn more about Microsoft’s perspective on Big Data.

About the Author
Adrienne Hall

General Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Adrienne Hall is a General Manager in the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing group, where she leads a team of information technology (IT) professionals who are focused on the security, privacy, reliability, and accessibility of devices and services built on Microsoft technology. Read more »