Cloud Computing Business in Saudi Arabia

An Examination of the Feasibility of Public Cloud Computing by Enterprise Businesses


Doctoral Thesis / Dissertation, 2014
50 Pages, Grade: 4.5

Excerpt

Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Key to Abbreviations

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Statement of the Problem
1.2 Purpose and Significance of the Study
1.3 Research Objective
1.4 Research Questions
1.4.1 Main Research Question
1.4.2 Sub-Questions
1.5 Scope and Limitations of Study
1.5.1 Delimitations
1.5.2 Limitations
1.6 Route Map to the Dissertation

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Organization of review
2.2 Emergence and Adoption of Cloud Computing
2.3 Cloud Computing Approaches
2.4 Cloud Computing in Business
2.5 Cloud Computing in Saudi Arabia
2.6 Conclusion

CHAPTER 3: DATA AND METHODS
3.1 Most promising methodological approach
3.2 Research Design and Method
3.3 Research Participants Recruitment Method
3.4 Research Participant Recruitment Criteria
3.5 Interviews
3.6 Ethical Issues
3.7 Literature Search
3.8 Analysis

CHAPTER 4: ANALYSIS AND RESULTS
4.1 Data Analysis
4.2 Results
4.2.1 Factors in Saudi environment that affect cloud computing implementation
4.2.2 Cloud computing services implemented by enterprise companies in Saudi Arabia
4.2.3 Benefits of Cloud Computing
4.2.4 Issues raised
4.2.5 Acceptability of recommendations

CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
5.1 Findings Summary
5.2 Theoretical and Practical Implications
5.3 Limitations
5.4 Directions for Future Research
5.5 Reflections
5.6 Learning from this Study

REFERENCES
Appendix A: Consent Form
Appendix B: Plain Language Statement
Appendix C: Semi-Structured Questionnaire
Appendix D: Interview Schedule

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Cloud computing has 3 primary service models including SaaS, IaaS and PaaS, which are classified depending on the level for which a service user interacts with the service provider’s systems in accessing memory, processing power and storage. Deployment models of cloud computing include hybrid, community, public and private clouds depending on the approach to hosting and the number of clients sharing a resource. Due to the prohibitive nature of private cloud computing and requirement for specialized systems in community clouds, the most suitable approach to cloud computing for small and medium enterprises is public cloud computing. In this regard, this study was aimed at determining the extent to which implementation of public cloud computing by enterprise companies is feasible. Due to the cultural and the absence of law in Saudi Arabia ensuring the protection of data in the cloud, challenges in implementing cloud computing in the country are related to adherence to the data governance structure. For instance, privacy and security are important for enterprise companies since the local culture values the safeguarding of family and individual information. In addition, information transferred through the cloud system must adhere to the conservative philosophy and data privacy, which limits the level of compatibility in cloud computing between Saudi Arabia and the western world. Since most service providers are based in the west, companies have to identify a service provider that tailors its products to suit the market in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, implementation of public cloud computing in Saudi Arabia is feasible as long as companies select a service provider with a positive reputation, limit posting of sensitive information to the cloud server, and implement cloud computing gradually to avert the possibility of complete failure. This study determined that SaaS cloud computing is feasible for enterprise companies in Saudi Arabia, but further study is required to examine the feasibility of IaaS and PaaS. In addition, a larger study should be done to collect quantitative data to determine the implications of cloud computing in a representative sample.

Key to Abbreviations

illustration not visible in this excerpt

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

Use of technology in business processes and functions has been evolving rapidly and consistently over time, and, in order to businesses to remain locally and globally competitive, they need to adjust their internal structures to keep up with these changes. In the early stages of information technology adoption by businesses, computers played a minor role in handling tasks that could easily be completed by employees. However, the information technology industry has undergone developments that have advanced the usage of computing devices beyond the limitations of a single workstation position (Hugos & Hulitzky, 2010). The capabilities and abilities of a workstation can be expanded for it to work as part of a much larger system with more computing power. In a cloud computing setup, a mainframe computer does most of the computing and storage tasks while workstations work as terminals accessing it through an intranet or the Internet depending on the type of cloud in use. In this regard, cloud computing is an advanced combination of technologies developed over time with the intention of increasing computing security, availability, affordability, portability, and connectivity (Buyya, et al., 2011). These technologies include encryption technologies, networking technologies and various other technologies whose combined effects is to reduce the costs while addressing the computing needs of the person or organization.

While cloud computing has multiple applications at a consumer level as a computational and backup tool, applications in business enterprise are virtually unlimited due to the versatility of the approach in information technology implementation. Several market leaders including Google, Microsoft, IBM, Lenovo and Apple have invested heavily as cloud computing service providers with the aim of increasing their earnings from this emerging technology that shows great potential (Grant AE & Meadows JH, p. 181). Computer vendors have designed consumer products with limited functionality, whose primary purpose is to act as terminals for primarily cloud-based computing. For instance, Google, in collaboration with computer vendors worldwide, has come up with ChromeBooks, which are computers with limited storage and processing power that are built to work with Chrome OS. According to (Karabek, 2011), the potential benefits of cloud computing have resulted in widespread adoption of cloud computing, and research is necessary to determine the best approach to cloud computing for business entities.

1.1 Statement of the Problem

Cloud computing can be implemented through multiple models including private cloud, public cloud and hybrid cloud, and their derivatives like community cloud and distributed cloud depending on service provider, users and deployment approach (Hausman, 2013). Due to the obvious benefits of cloud computing, enterprise companies have to implement cloud computing to make data collection, storage, processing, manipulation and communication an integrative process (Stair, 2010). However, with so many options to deployment options, and varying advantages and shortcomings of cloud computing models, companies have to perform a clear assessment of their needs in order to choose the most appropriate of the many cloud computing models. Different business entities have varying knowledge and information management approaches, which necessitates the application of a cloud computing approach that is most appropriate for their needs. On one hand, some companies may need specialized technologies in order to perform specialized tasks that are not available in public cloud computing, which necessitates the adoption of a private cloud computing approach. On the other hand, some companies may not have the resources to invest in the purchase of servers and other technologies required to implement a private cloud computing approach, and such a company would benefit from the storage and computing power offered by public clouds. Moreover, some companies may have resources to invest in a private cloud but also need the benefits of the public cloud, and such companies tend to favor a hybrid cloud computing system. Therefore, the choice of cloud computing deployment approach by a business entity depends on the cost and functional benefits of the approach, and the computing needs of the business entity.

1.2 Purpose and Significance of the Study

Investing in cloud computing poses a challenge for enterprise companies, especially since companies have to choose the best approach to cloud computing deployment that will address their needs and expectations with maximum benefits and minimal costs (Karabek, 2011). In this regard, companies must first determine their needs in terms of data management, and identify the most suitable cloud computing approach from the available private, public cloud, hybrid, community, and distributed cloud choices. For instance, although large cloud providers have the resources and technology to provide high quality services, access to these technologies and lack of ownership of the technologies by the enterprise firms are some of the primary shortcomings of public cloud computing (Mahmood, 2011). Other considerations that organizations should address in choosing their approach to cloud computing include the security of the systems, their reliability, service levels, data privacy, and compliance with current technologies and regulation (Saboowala, 2013) (Vacca, 2012). This study will determine how public cloud computing fares in terms of these aspects, which will enable the determination of the feasibility of its applications in enterprise companies in Saudi Arabia. In this paper, the various models of cloud computing will be discussed at length, which will enable the identification of the strengths and shortcomings of public cloud computing in relation to other cloud computing models. In addition, the cloud computing needs of enterprise firms will be determined through an extensive literature review, which will create a framework for the data collection stage. Findings from this study will offer a solution for enterprise companies in Saudi Arabia on the suitability of cloud computing for their business practices in order to achieve a competitive edge, address challenges, and improve service delivery.

1.3 Research Objective

- To determine the extent to which adoption public cloud business applications by Saudi Arabian enterprise companies is feasible as a replacement for traditional business applications.

1.4 Research Questions

1.4.1 Main Research Question

- Is it feasible for enterprise companies in Saudi Arabia to switch from traditional business applications and use public cloud computing services for their day-to-day business operations?

1.4.2 Sub-Questions

q1. What factors in the Saudi Arabian environment affect the implementation of public cloud computing by enterprise firms in Saudi Arabia?

q2. What are the benefits and shortcomings of implementing public cloud computing technologies by enterprise firms in Saudi Arabia?

q3. How can enterprise companies in Saudi Arabia optimize the benefits of public cloud computing without succumbing to challenges in the environment and the shortcomings of public cloud computing?

1.5 Scope and Limitations of Study

1.5.1 Delimitations

Review of literature for this study will be limited to research done in relation to the applications, importance and other aspects of cloud computing, but the technical aspects of cloud computing will be excluded. For instance, the specific technologies required for implementation of cloud computing including hardware and software will be left out as this study will only focus on the managerial and the functional aspect of cloud computing implementation. While the literature review will not be limited in terms of the geographical region since cloud computing is a global phenomenon, the methodology aspect will be limited to a few companies within Saudi Arabia, which is the context for this study. Although a limited number of companies will be used for this study, the methodology will also not address the technical aspect of cloud computing implementation; only the aspects that address its feasibility will be addressed. Cloud computing occurs in multiple forms, but public cloud computing is the most common of all forms, which makes it the most feasible to assess due to information availability. In the case of private and other cloud computing approaches used by enterprise companies, available information may be limited as companies use cloud computing as part of their competitive strategy. Therefore, except for mentioning other computing approaches for comparison purposes, this study will be centered on public cloud computing.

1.5.2 Limitations

An effective research should have a sample that is representative of the population for purposes of generalization of research findings to the whole population, which can be a challenge, especially for qualitative studies. Since this study is qualitative in nature, the sample does not need to be representative as the primary purpose is to identify a general trend, but this is also a limitation since further study is required to account for all population parameters. Another limitation in regard to generalization and representativeness of the sample is the sample selection process, which is highly limiting since the selected companies depend on their willingness to participate. Since companies may use cloud computing as a strategy in achieving competitive advantage, the management of companies may be reluctant to divulge information about their knowledge management and information management strategies. In addition, the companies need to have implemented cloud computing for at least 5 years in order to have had experience and, therefore, knowledge on its feasibility. This inclusion requirement increases the limitations of this study since cloud computing is a fairly recent technological development that is in its early developmental phases. In the review of literature, the researcher will have challenges finding appropriate sources for use in this study since cloud computing is an emerging technology and not much research has been done on its application in the business environment.

1.6 Route Map to the Dissertation

In order to answer the research questions successfully and achieve the objectives of this study, the rest of the dissertation is organized into chapters with headings and subheadings around which ideas and concepts are organized. The chapters include literature review, data and methods, analysis and results, discussions and conclusions, references and appendices. The literature review includes a critical analysis of previous studies done on the topic of study, which serves to give a background and perspective to this study. The data and methods chapter includes the process through which both primary and secondary data were collected and consolidated before final analysis. In the analysis and results chapter, the findings of the procedures described in preceding chapters were analyzed in order to make sense of them and apply them in answering of research questions. The final chapter of the dissertation body was the discussion and conclusions chapter, which was used to relate the findings of this study to those of previous studies, which clarified the contribution of this study to the existing body of knowledge. Other topics in this dissertation are the references and appendices, which provide additional information for use together with the information contained in the main body of the dissertation.

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Organization of review

The literature review will discuss the emergence and adoption of cloud computing, especially in regard to its effect on the cost cutting, profitability and competitiveness of business enterprises. Then, the main approaches to cloud computing will be discussed, including a comparison of the strengths and shortcomings of each approach. Some of the aspects that will discussed in regard to various cloud computing deployment approaches include their effects on profitability and cost of doing business, and current adoption levels by enterprise firms, governments, individuals and other commercial and noncommercial entities. After that, the cloud computing will be discussed in regard to the cloud computing needs of various business sizes, forms and approaches, especially in regard to the unique benefits of the different applications of cloud computing. The final and most important theme for the literature review will involve discussion of the current state of cloud computing in Saudi Arabia in relation to the economic, cultural, environmental, technological and legal conditions.

2.2 Emergence and Adoption of Cloud Computing

The implications of cloud computing and its potential benefits cannot be missed by business entities, and KPMG determined in a 2012 studies that over 81% of the companies under review had either implemented cloud computing, or were evaluating and planning to incorporate cloud computing in their processes (Aerohive Networks, 2013). According to (Aerohive Networks, 2013, p. 2), organizations have realized the potential benefits of cloud computing including increased flexibility, scalability and agility of their business practices, which comes from the ability to adapt to changes in their workload without having to change their IT budgets significantly. Cloud computing enabled a business to outsource a considerable portion of technical duties, which frees employees to work on implementing and improving the company’s core competencies (Hastings, 2009). By installing applications and hosting data in distant servers, the responsibility of owning complex technologies and ensuring the safety of company data is transferred to a third party with the capabilities and capacity to own and maintain the necessary infrastructure and knowledge (Hayes, 2008). In this regard, the development of cloud computing has enabled businesses to acquire the advanced technological functionality that would have otherwise be unachievable due to prohibitive costs of the necessary technologies. Since most of the innovation seems focused on cloud computing instead of conventional software implementations , the benefits of cloud computing will be enhanced with time and its shortcomings addressed, which will make it easier for business entities to decide the best cloud computing approach for their activities (Hayes, 2008, p. 9). For instance, due to network and processor virtualization, dependability of cloud computing in terms of fault tolerance and real-time operations are difficult to achieve (Mullender, 2012), but with the current commitment in research and development of these technologies, these challenges will be addressed.

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is responsible for providing the guidelines on which implementation of cloud computing should be based, which include various recommendations and definitions as cited by (Ananthi, 2012, p. 1), (Bender, 2012, p. 2), and (ISACA, 2009, p. 6). According to NIST, cloud computing has five primary characteristics including measured service, rapid elasticity, resource pooling, broad network access and on-demand self-service, which are important in determining the cost effectiveness of migration from grid computing to cloud computing (Chen, et al., 2013). According to (Chen, et al., 2013), the compatibility of these characteristics of cloud computing with conventional computing has made the migration of data and functionality to cloud computing highly manageable and economical.

The on-demand self-service property of cloud computing allows for customers to acquire and utilize the service provider’s resources with minimal human interaction, which not only frees human resources for other important tasks, but is also indispensable in cost cutting. The broad network access property of cloud computing should enable users to connect and use the resources of the cloud network using any device that has internet connection including laptops, smartphones, tablet computers, personal computers, PDAs and other mobile devices. The resource pooling property of cloud computing enables service providers to serve multiple customers using shared resources, whereby virtual and physical resources are assigned to customers according to demand but without the knowledge of the customers. At higher levels of abstraction, customers may be able to specify the processing, storage, memory, virtual machines and network bandwidths based on abstract identifiers like data center, region and country. The rapid elasticity property of cloud computing allows for rapid and elastic provisioning of resources and capabilities, usually automatically, such that they appear unlimited for customers to buy. The measured service property of cloud computing accounts for the ability of automatic control and optimization of active user accounts, processing, storage and bandwidth which allows for transparent control, monitoring and reporting of utilized service to the customer and service provider (Ananthi, 2012, p. 1) ; (Bender, 2012, p. 2); and (ISACA, 2009, p. 6). Based on the characteristics of cloud computing as provided by NIST, cloud computing shares similar characteristics with conventional computing, but the former allows for greater adaptability of resources to customer needs. In this regard, customers can export their computing needs including storage, processing and memory to the cloud in a cost-effective manner since the implementation and maintenance of cloud computing requires less resources in terms of time, finances and IT equipment in comparison to conventional computing (Chen, et al., 2013).

Although cloud computing continues to evolve and become easier and cheaper to adopt, (Brynjolfsson, et al., 2010) argue that the utility model of adoption is advantageous but the compatibility and ease of use for cloud computing may not achieve the levels observed in utilities like water and electricity. Nevertheless, compatibility and interoperability of cloud computing applications has been improving such that, by 2012, desktop computers, laptop computers, smartphones, tablets and eReaders were used at workplaces at percentages of 69, 63, 49, 24 and 5 percent respectively (McCourt, 2012, p. 70). Using these devices, cloud computing enables a user to access applications and data through a web browser to open and edit files that require the use of specialized software without having to buy and install such software. In addition, cloud computing allows for remote access of files, whereby a person can access a file through the Internet while at a different geographical location from the hard drive containing the file (Dixon, 2012, p. 36). According to (Dixon, 2012, p. 36), the most common examples of cloud computing applications include electronic mail accounts like Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo, and social network accounts like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, which can be accessed using any Internet connected device. According to (Skiba, 2011, pp. 266-267), 37% of businesses, 34% of higher education institutions, 30% of healthcare institutions and 21% percent of small businesses use cloud applications like file storage, email, web conferencing, video conferencing and online earning. In 2011, the most common cloud computing services included Gmail, Google docs, Microsoft Live Meeting, WebEx and GoToMeeting at 34%, 29%, 29%, 28% and 24% respectively. According to (Marston, 2011, pp. 179-180), cloud computing has resulted in the emergence and growth of technology industry leading firms like IBM, Google, Microsoft, AT&T, Apache, EMC, Cisco, Amazon, SalesForce.com, Enomaly, CapGemini, Rightscale and Vordel (Marston, 2011, pp. 179-180). These companies have played the roles of innovators, enablers, technology providers or market players, which has increased the feasibility and availability of cloud computing services by end users.

According to (Ernst&Young, 2011), the availability, costs and usability of cloud computing services are dependent on multiple factors in the business environment, whereby each of these factors determine the ability of a customer to adopt and apply the cloud computing services. First, the business model adopted by a service provider determines the pricing of various cloud computing bundles, which ranges from free access to monthly and annual subscriptions. Second, how the service provider interacts with and manages strategic sourcing of resources determines the availability of services, costs and quality of services. Third, privacy of customer data and security is a matter of concern for both service providers and customers since pooling of resources presents the challenge of separating information and data from different customers (Smith, 2009, p. 67). Fourth, since cloud computing is a relatively new phenomenon, standardization of service delivery is yet to be universalized, which means products may not be of the expected standards, or may not be compatible with comparable services from competitors. Fifth, governments have yet to address the cloud computing comprehensively, especially in regard to intellectual property rights and copyright laws. Sixth, as opposed to grid computing where various IT tools have specific functions, cloud computing spans multiple departments and functions, which presents accounting challenges. Seventh, cloud computing operates in a globalized platform, which means that businesses and governments have to address the challenge of cross-border taxation for a service that cannot be fully quantified. Finally, the online hosting of cloud services makes it difficult for businesses to ascertain their compliance to international or local regulations prior to implementation.

In addition to security and privacy challenges, (Smith, 2009, p. 67) identified five more shortcomings in cloud computing that may hinder the benefits from cloud computing advantages such as cost cutting and scalability. Data hosting in foreign countries exposes the data hosted in the cloud to be subject to the laws of the hosting countries, which makes the data vulnerable to access by third parties. In addition, the performance of cloud applications fluctuate highly due to shared resources, which can make it difficult for one to work when a server or application is assigned to many people in the same neighborhood simultaneously. The complexity of cloud computing systems exposes them to complex bugs, which may result in loss of service for hours or days until the bug is fixed. Since cloud computing is still a recent computer technology implementation, standards have not yet been established to ensure cross compatibility, which means a company that embedded in one service may have difficulties switching a vendor. Although the resources of a cloud computing service provider seem to be unlimited, if all customers called on the services at the same time, the vendor may run out of resources, which may result in loss of service when customers need them the most.

Although cloud computing has multiple shortcomings, the most commonly identified is security (Reddy, 2011); (Saranya, et al., 2013) whereby vast resources have been invested in developing security features to protect the data and information about customers from unauthorized access. According to (Saranya, et al., 2013), the security challenge in cloud computing emerges from the difficulty in allowing for third party authentication without exposing customer information to unauthorized parties. In order to address these loopholes, service providers have implemented a layering system in which a Security as a Service layer used across Software, Platform and Infrastructure service layers (Reddy, 2011). Therefore, cloud computing has emerged as an important phenomenon if data management and received enthusiastic support, but its stability is challenged by security issues, dependability and stability.

2.3 Cloud Computing Approaches

Depending on the products offered by the service provider, cloud computing can be divided into three main cloud computing service models including Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) (Ananthi, 2012, p. 1) ; (Bender, 2012, p. 2) ; (Hilley, 2009) ; (Hoefer, 2010) ; (Awad, 2011). Although it has not received widespread use, (Rimal, et al., 2009) also came up with a fourth model of cloud computing product type known as Hardware as a Service (HaaS). In the SaaS service model, software is available for on-demand distribution over the Internet, which is centrally hosted for remote usage by customers and the service provider configures, updates and maintains it from a central location. Google Docs is an example of a SaaS application that is an online tool for creation and storage of basic information in documents that are accessible form any Internet-connected device. In the IaaS service model, the service provider, including Amazon EC2 and VITI provides software, hardware, facilities and expertise that allow users to install applications and use them until completion of their life cycles. In this regard, the IaaS service model acts as remote server that has an operating system and other resources, which enables the customer to install and use applications remotely. The PaaS service model was designed for developers, whereby a set of rules, tools guidelines like Microsoft Azure are available for developers when developing cloud applications. Although NIST does not describe a HaaS model, (Rimal, et al., 2009) point out that IT automation, hardware virtualization, and pricing and metering of hardware usage have made it possible for users to subscribe and use IT hardware or even entire data centers without having to build and manage them.

According to (Aerohive Networks, 2013, p. 2), the primary deployment models of cloud computing include public and private cloud computing, whereby the former is provided over the Internet and applications and infrastructures are hosted at the service provider’s premises while the latter is provided locally with resources hosted in the customer’s data center on a private platform. Implementation of technologies between the two approaches is similar in that hardware and processing power and virtualized and storage is shared, but sharing of resources is either public in public cloud computing or limited to a single organization in private cloud computing. In addition to public and private cloud computing, NIST recognizes 2 other models of cloud computing including community cloud and hybrid cloud computing (Bender, 2012, pp. 2-3). A community cloud is put in place and deployed for use by a limited community of users with shared interests and concerns including security requirements, mission, compliance, and policy considerations. A community cloud may be owned and hosted by one or more members of the community, or it may be outsourced from a third party (Bender, 2012, p. 3). A hybrid cloud is a cloud computing deployment approach in which a combination of any two or more cloud computing infrastructures including private, community or public cloud, are implemented together. In hybrid cloud computing, the cloud infrastructures remain as distinct units but are bound by proprietary or standardized technologies that enable for application and data portability (Bender, 2012, p. 3). The choice of a cloud computing approach by a customer depends on computing needs, available resources, and the strengths and shortcomings of each cloud computing implementation approach.

Cloud computing implementation models have both advantages and disadvantages, and a customer’s choice is dependent on the IT priorities, budget and available options. Public cloud services are efficient and simple, low cost, require minimal time to adjust capacity based on changing requirements, have no maintenance costs or obligations, and no contracts are required, especially with the pay-as-you-go model (Aerohive Networks, 2013, p. 3). The main disadvantages of public cloud computing include loss of control by the customer over resources, slow speed because processing is dependent on speed of Internet connection, renting from third party means that the investment capital of a business does not improve, and perceived weak security especially for users that deal with sensitive information (Aerohive Networks, 2013, p. 3). Private clouds allow for greater control over data, increased security and performance since they operate behind a firewall in an intranet, deeper compliance of data to HIPAA, PCI DSS and Sarbanes Oxley standards, highly customizable hardware, network and storage performance (Aerohive Networks, 2013, p. 3). Disadvantages of private cloud computing include performance ceiling due to hardware limitations, higher risk and cost due to hardware and software maintenance, and higher costs of acquiring, upgrading and maintaining hardware and software (Aerohive Networks, 2013, p. 3).

In view of the shortcomings of both public and private cloud computing deployment approaches, (Géczy, et al., 2012) recommend hybrid cloud computing since it acts as a middle ground in which benefits of both approaches can be optimized and their shortcomings suppressed. Some of the benefits that can be harnessed from hybrid cloud computing include a balanced approach to benefits and risks, efficient and faster adoption due to similarity to conventional outsourcing, and fast deployment of the public aspect of the hybrid cloud. In addition, hybrid cloud computing has other benefits like ease of use in adoption of ready-to-use private and public cloud solutions, transfer and elimination of costly third party cloud solutions to cut costs, timely and dynamic scaling of resources with change in demand, and ease of payment as users pay only for cloud services used. In spite of the far-reaching benefits of hybrid cloud computing over private and public cloud computing, (Géczy, et al., 2012) identified some shortcomings that may limit the benefits and usability of the hybrid cloud. Some of these shortcomings include potential risk elevation due to poor balance between the public and private aspects of the cloud, fragmented control and customization of data, applications and resources, and security risks in the public cloud. Other shortcomings of hybrid cloud computing include inconsistent access to data and services due to network connection fluctuations, the public cloud creates a liability risk as the service provider is not liable to losses, breaches and compromises, and remote hosting in the public cloud may put valuable company data in unprotected territories.

Although cloud computing has obvious benefits, there are challenges that users have to overcome in its implementations, which has caused some writers like (Chauhan, et al., 2012) to consider cloud computing a failure. These authors cite the dubious nature of data and services management in the cloud as the primary reason for concerns about privacy and security, which, in turn, could result in complete failure of cloud computing. The fears expressed by (Chauhan, et al., 2012) are justified, but their approach to writing off cloud computing as a failure is shortsighted since the concerned stakeholders are taking measures to address these shortcomings. In order to address the security issues facing cloud computing, (Albeshri & Caelli, 2010, p. 642) recommend minimal movement of data and process location, data and process deletion upon contract termination, continuity and resilience of service, integral and consistent naming services, and guaranteed absence of deliberate or accidental interruptions. In addition to data and process security, privacy is another issue of concern; especially since data verification and auditing in cloud computing is done by third party auditors. However, (Ananthi, 2012, p. 2) point out that systems are in place to enable verification of correctness of data in the cloud by a third party without having to retrieve the data. One such approach was recommended by (Attas & Batrafi, 2011) who stated recommended a three step verification approach in which the user does the digital signature part, the cloud server verifies the data for intrusions and manipulations, and the third party auditor verifies the server to confirm the presence or absence of data modification by the cloud server. According to (Bowers, 2011, pp. 48-49), an effective cloud computing approach to ensure data security should have application and data encryption, data validation during input and output, copy protection, and allow only authorized copying, forwarding and printing of data.

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Details

Title
Cloud Computing Business in Saudi Arabia
Subtitle
An Examination of the Feasibility of Public Cloud Computing by Enterprise Businesses
College
Egerton University
Grade
4.5
Author
Year
2014
Pages
50
Catalog Number
V276573
ISBN (eBook)
9783656696452
ISBN (Book)
9783656700142
File size
654 KB
Language
English
Tags
cloud, computing, business, saudi, arabia, examination, feasibility, public, enterprise, businesses
Quote paper
Nicholas Guantai (Author), 2014, Cloud Computing Business in Saudi Arabia, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/276573

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