Microsoft cloud chief: "The cloud is about economies of scale"

As part of a panel discussion on restoring trust in the cloud at the Trust in the Digital World conference in Vienna, Microsoft's director of cloud identity & privacy services Ronny Bjones spoke about what needs to be done to restore faith in the cloud.

What I'm going to say is a bit controversial. We're facing a huge paradigm shift in which cloud is becoming an economical issue. Cloud solutions are being acquired by many huge companies, who are making cost-benefit analyses as they go and finding it to be the best possible solution.

So why is cloud so much cheaper? It has to do with economies of scale. Huge data centres are being built for these cloud services. Even the motherboards have components dedicated to these kinds of cloud servers. So by doing things on such a large scale, you can do things very cheaply. That's really the magic behind it.

The other reason is simply about security. Many people may disagree about cloud as a more secure solution, but it's actually pretty hard in an SME, for instance, to have security professionals dealing with their network infrastructure. For them, the best solution is to go into the cloud. It's about complexity. The cloud reduces complexity, and I think that whenever complexity is reduced, the system gets more secure.

There's not much you can do in the infrastructure of the public cloud. It's not something where you can come up with a PCI board and say "hey, I want to put this in the servers!" It's not possible.

Where flexibility comes in is in identity. You can use outsourced services using things like multi-factor authentication, or you can decide as some SMEs do, to go for the full public cloud.

The other thing we should focus on is the whole privacy debate. Usually when we talk about privacy, most people think about data protection, but there's a very big conversation around it, involving multiple factors.

Right now all we have is this thing called "don't track", where the browser simply asks "hey, please don't track me!"

The problem is, if the provider ignores that, there's nothing you can do. We need to develop technologies that make it impossible to track. That's what we're looking into in the future.

The Trust in the Digital World conference runs from 7-8 April, and ITProPortal will be covering the ins and outs of what's being discussed here in the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.