Despite service outages and security issues, a majority of people remain optimistic about Cloud Computing
Virtually everyone is using some form of cloud computing these days, be it in a professional capacity or merely for entertainment. It has infiltrated our video delivery services, email, favorite websites…. if you can name it, cloud computing is probably already there or soon to be. Yet despite the apparent cloud takeover, everything seems fine. In other words, society hasn’t collapsed, websites haven’t experienced rolling failures, and security issues aren’t as prevalent or disparaging as some would have you believe. Truth be told, people and businesses are more connected and empowered than ever before thanks to cloud technologies.
The question is, despite clear evidence to the contrary, why is it that fear of cloud computing is given such authority? Arguably, fear has spread because there are those among us who like to prey upon others, spreading discord simply because they can. The fact of the matter is that a great number of people have already accepted that cloud computing will become a central form of technology in the future. Likewise, some people don’t like change and will fight it tooth and nail, even if it will clearly benefit them in the long run. Of course you also have those who might seek to capitalize, or cash in on the fear of others; telling them about the myriad ways in which their data might be compromised just to sell them on their solution.
In spite of cloud fear-mongering, most people are ready for some positive change. More and more people are waking up to the possibilities inherent in cloud computing. For example, on one end of the spectrum you have technologies which allow individuals and businesses to essentially accomplish more at a faster rate while spending less. Add this to the fact that (according to certain major scientific groups) we are facing environmental, energy and resource-based challenges, and you could say that cloud computing is almost a necessity.
In a way, cloud computing is rewriting the book when it comes to what comprises networking, IT and general computing. Hardware is becoming virtualized through cloud computing and individual infrastructures and user computers are fast becoming remotely accessible network-based services. These concepts go hand-in-hand with the idea that our entire society is becoming increasingly connected.
If you’ve ever attended or listened to some of the talks or lectures being given by some of Silicon Valley’s top gurus, then you’ll know what is meant by the term “connected”. Many of these people created the technologies which are driving everything you use every day, along with that which drives the businesses, corporations, governments and universities which have made your current lifestyle and viewpoint possible. Many of these individuals see a future in which all devices are interconnected and are able to access pools of shared data. Cloud computing is a giant step toward realizing the potential inherent in a more truly connected world.
For businesses, the first step toward increasing their capabilities is to put forth a solid plan which will allow them to smoothly transition into cloud computing. Strangely enough, one of the areas which many organizations often fail to consider is that of cloud education. Specifically, businesses need to ensure that their IT and technically-minded employees are on a path toward attaining some form of cloud computing training or certification. Armed with personnel who understand how cloud computing works, businesses can take advantage of everything it has to offer while at the same time increasing their ability to thwart or manage risk.
However, there are some among us who are not going to get onboard the cloud no matter what benefits are offered or how affordable it is. These individuals are going to focus in on security issues and events like the recent heat wave-induced outages regardless of all the truly great things cloud computing is capable of. Of course, cloud computing is not perfect, but neither is traditional IT / networking.
Are we to believe that the traditional model for IT is superior in terms of security when compared with that of cloud computing? From a statistical point of view it could be argued that traditional IT is not nearly as safe as cloud computing, and given the cloud’s age, current IT models certainly have a darker history when it comes to security-related issues.
Emerging (cloud security) concepts however, will put an end to the great cloud security debate which is raging (read about the recent merger between Joyent and GuardTime for more information about that). In the end, it is extremely likely that time will redeem cloud computing and render all of the current negative chatter insolvent.