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Embracing the Cloud for Financial Reporting


data security in the cloud blog
January 11, 2011

Making the leap to the cloud can be a big step for some companies. CIOs and IT departments in organizations around the world are evaluating their company's adoption of the cloud—whether it's partnering with a Software as a Service (SaaS) company like WebFilings or developing and executing a solution or service. And we've been fortunate to partner with many customers who have chosen Wdesk not only as their SEC reporting solution of record but as their first step into the cloud.

Phil Wainewright, CEO of Procellux Ventures and a cloud computing thought leader, recently posted an article on ZDNet comparing the private versus the public cloud. At the beginning of the year, Wainewright argued that private clouds would be discredited by the end of the year. To back up his prediction, Wainewright references a recently published white paper from Microsoft entitled, "The Economics of the Cloud," which explains the economic benefits of a public cloud computing model.

In his article, Wainewright points out economic factors brought to light in the white paper. Mainly, there are economies of scale to be had in public clouds versus private. In addition, consumers of cloud computing benefit because the cloud facilitates "elastic consumption, self-service, and pay-as-you-go pricing." "The Economics of the Cloud" white paper also argues that cloud computing will enable organizations to focus on innovation because cloud platforms "significantly reduce the time and complexity of building new apps that take advantage of all the benefits of the cloud."

These are a few valid reasons why we chose to build the innovative External Reporting Solution leveraging the cloud, which I recently blogged about in a recent post entitled 10 Reasons to Choose Wdesk and the Cloud.

Beyond the economic benefits of the public cloud there are also security benefits. "The Economics of the Cloud" white paper goes on to state:

"...increased need for security and reliability leads to economies of scale due to the largely fixed level of investment required to achieve operational security and reliability. Large commercial cloud providers are often better able to bring deep expertise to bear on this problem than a typical corporate IT department, thus actually making cloud systems more secure and reliable."

"Many security experts argue there are no fundamental reasons why public clouds would be less secure; in fact, they are likely to become more secure than on premises due to the intense scrutiny providers must place on security and the deep level of expertise they are developing."

This is why WebFilings partnered with Google and Amazon, our infrastructure and platform providers, because they are simply unmatched in networking, application hosting and data security. Plus the cloud-based storage system we leverage, combined with our product security implementation, ensures that a company's SEC report information is encrypted, encoded and distributed among multiple physical and virtual severs across geographically dispersed data centers. Our approach eliminates common data security risks associated with physical access to data storage and networking systems. And it's why our clients trust Wdesk with their financial data and in many cases have been willing to take their first steps in cloud adoption with us.

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