How does the cloud help reconcile the need for mobile access at many widely distributed locations with the need to maintain data security?

Canadian CIO Point Of View
Canadian CIO Point Of View - Sponsored by Cisco

Dean Doige, CIO

Clark Builders

Read this transcript of a recent video CanadianCIO interview with Dean Doige, CIO of general contractor Clark Builders in Edmonton, discussing how cloud computing helps secure the company’s remote offices.

Mobility and cloud computing are huge in my world, and the reason is we’re a very distributed workforce. Even though I label four offices or branch offices, we really have 100 and some spread across western Canada, and they all have to be connected, they’re all temporary, they’re all greenfield, meaning they’re in the middle of nowhere. Obviously, I don’t want to put a lot of infrastructure on those sites, for security reasons.

So it’s all about connectivity, and it’s all about accessing , whether it be internal cloud, external cloud or the hybrid cloud, whatever you want to label it, it’s accessing that data, that information and applications through mobile applications. Whether it be smart phones or laptops or whatever, everything we have is delivered via cloud.

Luckily, we’re not a bank, we’re not an airline, that type of thing, but obviously, that information, whether it be the estimating information, or labour rates or those sort of things definitely need to be secure. And the approach with cloud computing, we believe that’s what’s allowing these things to happen, but also enabling the security, because everything is stored in one spot, everything is isolated.

Our policy is, “Yes, you have a laptop, but there’s nothing in it.” Our architect refers to those as “toasters,” because all they do is access the cloud. If something happens, you throw them away, and you have another device to access the cloud. So it’s a lot of that control.

And that’s what I think is the biggest benefit with cloud computing: You’re able to control and secure, but at the same time you have a ton of flexibility for your users, especially your mobile users.

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