Essential Guide

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Editor's note

With cloud computing being used by businesses across all industries and acting as a digital transformation enabler, CIOs must constantly review their cloud computing investments. They will indeed be spending more money on it: Our annual IT priorities survey of 971 North American IT professionals found that cloud services will continue to attract substantial attention in 2017, with 64% planning to increase cloud spending. And according to market analyst firm IDC, worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure is estimated to grow at a 21.5% compound annual growth rate -- nearly seven times the rate of the total IT spending growth -- to reach $203.4 billion in 2020.

This Essential Guide is designed to help delve into the many facets of cloud computing investments, including cloud innovation, security, storage, application development and service provider management.

1Assessing key risks of cloud computing investments

Moving data to the cloud comes with its fair share of risks. How safe is your data in the cloud? Are you equipped to handle a cloud failure or breach? In this section, learn about the latest tools and strategies to counteract cloud threats and protect cloud data. Also, learn about new cloud security roles, risk management best practices and steps to cultivate a cloud-security culture.

2Tips to maximize your cloud-based storage

Will your business benefit from the use of object storage systems rather than file storage systems when storing data in the cloud? Read the articles in this section to know about cloud storage tools and applications that are best for your organization, why hybrid cloud could be the future of cloud storage and why the OpenStack platform could be gaining ground.

3Cloud-based analytics: Understanding benefits and risks

Cloud data management provides benefits like accelerated technology deployments and reduced costs associated with both system maintenance and capital expenditure. Read the articles in this section to understand the benefits as well as the risks associated with cloud-based business analytics and how data center best practices translate to the cloud.

4How to maximize your cloud benefits

Of the several cloud benefits, cloud inventory management helps in reducing costs and security risks. Negotiating a sound cloud contract also helps mitigate risks associated with the cloud. With more organizations making cloud computing investments, this section highlights the best practices for cloud inventory management and determining metrics that reap maximum benefits from cloud computing investments, and provides tips on the factors that need to be considered before negotiating terms and conditions of a cloud contract.