Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Jason Bloomberg, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Machine Learning

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

The Problem with Consumer Cloud Services...

…is that they're consumer cloud services

…is that they're consumer cloud services.

While we're all focused heavily on the challenges of managing BYOD in the enterprise, we should not overlook or understate the impact of consumer-grade services within the enterprise. Just as employees bring their own devices to the table, so too do they bring a smattering of consumer-grade "cloud" services to the enterprise.

Such services are generally woefully inappropriate for enterprise use. They are focused on serving a single consumer, with authentication and authorization models that support that focus. There are no roles, generally no group membership, and there's certainly no oversight from some mediating authority other than the service provider.

This is problematic for enterprises as it eliminates the ability to manage access for large groups of people, to ensure authority to access based on employee role and status, and provides no means of integration with existing ID management systems.

Integrating consumer-oriented cloud services into enterprise workflows and systems is a Sisyphean task. Cloud-services replicating what has traditionally been considered enterprise-class services such as CRM and ERP are designed with the need to integrate. Consumer-oriented services are designed with the notion of integration – with other consumer-grade services, not enterprise systems. They lack even the most rudimentary enterprise-class concepts such as RBAC, group-based policy and managed access.

cloudidentitybrokerSaaS supporting what are traditionally enterprise-class concerns such as CRM and e-mail have begun to enable the integration with the enterprise necessary to overcome what is, according to survey conducted by CloudConnect and Everest Group, the number two inhibitor of cloud adoption amongst respondents.

The lack of integration points into consumer-grade services is problematic for both IT – and the service provider. For the enterprise, there is a need to integrate, to control the processes associated with, consumer-grade cloud services. As with many SaaS solutions, the ability to collaborate with data-center hosted services as a means to integrate with existing identity and access control services is paramount to assuaging the concerns that currently exist given the more lax approach to access and identity in consumer-grade services.

Integration capabilities – APIs – that enable enterprises to integrate even rudimentary control over access is a must for consumer-grade SaaS looking to find a path into the enterprise. Not only is it a path to monetization (enterprise organizations are a far more consistent source of revenue than are ads or income derived from the sale of personal data) but it also provides the opportunity to overcome the stigma associated with consumer-grade services that have already resulted in "bans" on such offerings within large organizations.

There are fundamentally three functions consumer-grade SaaS needs to offer to entice enterprise customers:

  1. Control over AAA

    Enterprises need the ability to control who accesses services and to correlate with authoritative sources of identity and role. That means the ability to coordinate a log-in process that primarily relies upon corporate IT systems to assert access rights and the capability of the cloud-service to accept that assertion as valid. APIs, SAML, and other identity management techniques are invaluable tools in enabling this integration. Alternatively, enterprise-grade management within the tools themselves can provide the level of control required by enterprises to ensure compliance with a variety of security and business-oriented requirements.

  2. Monitoring

    Organizations need visibility into what employees (or machines) may be storing "in the cloud" or what data is being exchanged with what system. This visibility is necessary for a variety of reasons with regulatory compliance most often cited.

  3. Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Security

    Because one of the most alluring aspects of consumer cloud services is nearly ubiquitous access from any device and any location, the ability to integrate #1 and #2 via MDM and mobile-friendly security policies is paramount to enabling (willing) enterprise-adoption of consumer cloud services.

While most of the "consumerization" of IT tends to focus on devices, "bring your own services" should also be a very real concern for IT. And if consumer cloud services providers think about it, they'll realize there's a very large market opportunity for them to support the needs of enterprise IT while maintaining their gratis offerings to consumers.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

Microservices Articles
Digital Transformation is well underway with many applications already on the cloud utilizing agile and devops methodologies. Unfortunately, application security has been an afterthought and data breaches have become a daily occurrence. Security is not one individual or one's team responsibility. Raphael Reich will introduce you to DevSecOps concepts and outline how to seamlessly interweave security principles across your software development lifecycle and application lifecycle management. With ...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.
Two apparently distinct movements are in the process of disrupting the world of enterprise application development: DevOps and Low-Code. DevOps is a cultural and organizational shift that empowers enterprise software teams to deliver better software quicker – in particular, hand-coded software. Low-Code platforms, in contrast, provide a technology platform and visual tooling that empower enterprise software teams to deliver better software quicker -- with little or no hand-coding required. ...
"We do one of the best file systems in the world. We learned how to deal with Big Data many years ago and we implemented this knowledge into our software," explained Jakub Ratajczak, Business Development Manager at MooseFS, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
All zSystem customers have a significant new business opportunity to extend their reach to new customers and markets with new applications and services, and to improve the experience of existing customers. This can be achieved by exposing existing z assets (which have been developed over time) as APIs for accessing Systems of Record, while leveraging mobile and cloud capabilities with new Systems of Engagement applications. In this session, we will explore business drivers with new Node.js apps ...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
The now mainstream platform changes stemming from the first Internet boom brought many changes but didn’t really change the basic relationship between servers and the applications running on them. In fact, that was sort of the point. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Gordon Haff, senior cloud strategy marketing and evangelism manager at Red Hat, will discuss how today’s workloads require a new model and a new platform for development and execution. The platform must handle a wide range of rec...