TIPS: Explain the Cloud to your Boss


I am calling this article “TIPS” hoping it serves a dual purpose. On one instance, it should help you understand what the cloud is from a high level view if you are still fuzzy about the subject, but it will also remind you of the Techniques to Inform, Present and Show (TIPS) details about the cloud.

I recently completed my Masters degree in Cyber Security, and just so happened that I did my research paper (Thesis) on the cloud. I thought this would be an easy topic since I knew everything about cloud computing, so I thought. As I dug deeper, I found interesting aspects, vulnerabilities, compliance advantages and disadvantages, but also some use cases where the cloud was a perfect fit, and some where it did not.

So, the cloud is not a new concept, as it has been around for quite some time. Cloud computing is the convergence of resources that allows for a centralized location of shared resources that can be deployed quickly as needed. This methodology has been in place for many years. What has changed is the location, availability, accessibility and pricing, which is what executives care the most about in most instances. There are 4 types of cloud, also known as Deployment Models:

  • Private – On Premise
  • Public – Hosted by a service provider
  • Hybrid – Combination of Public/Private
  • Community – Cloud composed of organizations in the same field or common interests that drives a requirement. For example, a group of hospitals the require a cloud service provider to be HIPAA compliant.


Aside from the Deployment Models of Cloud Computing, we also have service models. Although you may have heard many, many service models being offered, there are three official service models where different services may fall into. So, a vendor’s marketing strategies that create their own service models, is only causing confusion to potential users as well as delaying the adoption of the technology. There are three service models plus the highly utilized on premise option.

  • Private – On premise. All service models are available within a company’s data-center.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) – Offers only software available through the internet. Think of it as your iTunes, or GMAIL.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) – Offers a platform where customer can develop, and run web applications without having to worry about servers, network, etc.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – This offering provides everything but the kitchen sink. It may include compute, storage, networking, management, security, hypervisors, etc.



From a high level view. This is what the cloud is about. The term has gained interest in the last several years thanks to the advances in technology, and communications which allows for fast, scalable, and cost effective solutions to the business. Before you jump on the cloud band wagon, you should do your due diligence and investigate the pros and cons of cloud computing, especially as it relates to compliance, and security. I won’t go there, I promise.

To wrap things up, remember to follow TIPS. Use the Techniques such as the need to Inform yourself before you tell others, Present accurate information in a simplistic way, and Show the pros and cons of the solution, as well as a high level logical design highlighting the differences between the different offerings.


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