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Will the Movement to BI in the Cloud be Hindered by Security and Privacy Concerns?

Will the Movement to BI in the Cloud be Hindered by Security and Privacy Concerns?

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This question comes from David Linthicum, and asks: Will the movement to BI in the cloud be hindered by security and privacy concerns?

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  • In general, BI is about aggregation, summarizing and gaining insights into trends, bottlenecks, etc. Detailed transaction data is the level at which Security and Privacy concerns prop up.

    That said, organizations are very protective about their Business Intelligence, understandably, because of their value to their competitors! For example, Samsung may like to know who and what Nokia is selling around the globe! Keeping them in the clouds will raise security and privacy concerns - Unless!

    Unless - Cloud computing comes up with innovations that allow you to store data locally but use hosted solutions elsewhere! After all, cloud allows you not to deal with software licenses, upgrades, servers, backups etc.

    If you could use remotely hosted servers but optionally they can store data locally, then your security and privacy concerns may not be that much!

  • If anything it creates opportunities.
    For security vendors - to adapt existing data protection schemes so that they more fully integrate with SaaS architectures and platforms
    For users - to mandate SLAs that include proof of continuous protection and enforcement of appropriate role based access

  • Whenever new technologies and application services are moved to a SaaS or cloud model, the question of data security and privacy arises. If business-critical CRM and customer support data can be so confidently hosted in SaaS and cloud models (as they have been for some time), I am confident that business intelligence data will be hosted there as well. It's just a matter of time and value proposition.

  • I am in agreement with Brian. Security is obviously a real concern for organizations considering BI in the cloud, but the success of SaaS-based solutions have been tested within operational systems use and are still being used by many organizations. Looking at ERP, CRM, etc. solutions provide one example, but in my opinion, the true test is payroll and other HR systems whereby sensitive employee information is hosted outside of the organization. If solution providers have enabled organizations to take advantage of these services and can do so while maintaining data integrity and security, then those looking at BI in a hosted or cloud environment have no need for concern.

    With that being said, however, I am not advocating the lack of need for security procedures as they are essential. I just don't feel that security should be the deciding factor of whether an organization should or should not choose to deploy BI in the cloud.

  • I don’t think the movement to BI in the Cloud will be hampered by security and privacy reasons. There is a lot of value from running Hadoop oriented loads over public data in the cloud and this is already happening. The amount of private data in the cloud is growing as more SaaS applications find their way into the cloud with their own schemes for managing security. All of this data would need BI down the road. Also encryption could be used for metadata, which would maintain privacy while still making the data be available for BI activity.

  • Probably - unless you are dealing with non-sensitive data. An example of the latter would be competitors agreeing to aggregate data "for some wider good" such as avoiding governance pressures etc.

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