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Scaling for Any Device, Anywhere

This week I had the opportunity to address a large group of CIOs and global IT executives at the Handelsblatt Conference in Munich.  The theme of the event was "Seamless IT: anytime-anywhere-any service-any device."
I was asked to speak on the topic of Internet scalability, which is a challenge that Akamai has been addressing since our inception nearly 14 years ago.
In my presentation I argued that new risks to Internet scalability would far eclipse the traditional concern that rising demand for content delivery capacity would overwhelm network growth. Going forward, scalability will be most impacted by how companies are able to respond to the rapid adoption of cloud computing, and how well they can defend against the increasing security threats that have come with so much business - B2B and B2C - moving online.
Shift to the Cloud is Driving More Traffic Online
Cloud computing represents one of the most significant shifts in IT many of us are likely to see in our lifetimes. Consider how many of our daily activities now either require, or depend, on an Internet connection and access to data and processing in the cloud: listening to music, watching movies, playing video games, scheduling appointments, emailing, shopping, shipping, planning travel, etc. A few years ago this was not the case, but today, continuous, reliable, broadband connectivity is practically a necessity.
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Because we increasingly rely on the Internet for more and more critical tasks, the need for scalability has become more important than ever--downtime is simply not an option.
With that said, the reality of cloud computing is that it relies on the public Internet, which is fraught with complexities and performance barriers. There are billions of users on myriad devices, thousands of networks, untold numbers of configurations, and increasing security vulnerabilities.
Given the headlines of the past year, as well as the data about the increasing number, size and sophistication of attacks, CIOs repeatedly cite security as their number one concern with cloud computing.
Increasing Security Threats
The threat is real. Attacks are increasing in visibility, frequency, sophistication and size.
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The attacks we're seeing can literally cripple a business and cost a company millions of dollars in lost sales, let alone the brand damage, and because of this, security is no longer just an IT concern, it is a shared business risk for management and their boards.
During the past few weeks, we've watched as a variety of high-profile Web sites have been brought down by concerted, focused DDoS attacks.  And while there has been a lot written about the potential perpetrators and their rationale for attacking these sites, perhaps the bigger issue in all of this is that hacking is still something about which businesses must be very concerned.
Scaling for increasing cloud adoption and to handle rising security threats requires a complete solution that addresses all of the challenges businesses face as they move online. Is your app safe?  Is your data safe?  Will your business work for all users across multiple devices and will it perform at scale globally?  
Scaling for the future means being able to deliver secure, high-performing user experiences to any device, anywhere.
Paul Sagan is President and Chief Executive Officer of Akamai