What are the main obstacles to effective enterprise cloud implementations? Much of the time, ineffective executive strategy prevents companies from realizing the full benefits of remote storage and flexible application resources. More specifically, IT departments also may have failed to properly integrate cloud infrastructure into their nascent bring-your-own-device strategies, despite the possible security and cost management benefits.

In a case study for Wikibon, CIO Media Group senior editor Wendy Schuchart explained that moving from virtualized resources to full cloud functionality requires company diligence. Although virtualization provides a technical framework similar to the cloud, departments must plan carefully and pick the right providers in order to enhance their on-premises resources with the scalability and support of IaaS.

Accordingly, successful private cloud setup requires a precise combination of infrastructure, assiduously enforced security policy and employee education. Since cloud-based IT initiatives may create the impression that a company will cut personnel as operational efficiency improves, it is important for executives to inform employees that their roles may instead expand to encompass more cloud management responsibilities.

"It is absolutely crucial that CIOs have some kind of cloud strategy in place and also take care to be completely open and transparent about this initiative to staff," advised Schuchart.

Since private clouds also commonly handle regulated data, employees and cloud providers alike must be aware of their roles in ensuring secure data exchange.

The cloud can make BYOD more secure
On top of data governance and personnel issues, organizations must also contend with BYOD policies that have introduced potential security issues. Private clouds are designed for tight compliance, but enterprise data could be compromised by fragmented fleets of consumer-grade hardware, such as smartphones and tablets, which are running unsecured applications.

Fortunately, the cloud provides the infrastructure for granular mobile device management tools that can remotely wipe lost devices. As a result, corporate information can be made more widely available without creating compliance risks. The cloud also makes it easier to quickly distribute antivirus software and patches, and it may permit greater visibility into network traffic and potential vulnerabilities, noted CloudTweaks contributor Miles Young.

"With the rise of laptops and smartphones in the workplace, traditional and mobile cloud computing are the most obvious solutions," wrote Young. "With these services, all storage and data processing occurs outside the mobile devices. As information isn't stored on any employee's device, corporate documents enjoy greater security."