Cloudy (Computing) Days are Coming

“But wait,” you say, “what about data integrity? Control? Ownership? eDiscovery? Availability? Depending on the public Internet to run your business?”

All of these supposed roadblocks don’t change the fundamental business case for moving toward a business model that doesn’t include an in-house IT infrastructure.

If you look closely at these objections you’ll realize the vast majority of businesses don’t have a decent backup plan nor do they have business continuity plan in case of disaster. This makes the data integrity issue is a red herring. The integrity of the data is actually better when it sits in a professionally managed data center. If the business owner thinks he has control of his systems, he is sadly mistaken. The IT people control the systems, and the software manufacturers control how systems work.

As to the availability of systems that are Internet based, most businesses have access to broadband communication services. Those services are generally as reliable as the electric utility company. So, if you lose power you will probably lose your communications service. However, if you are using the Internet, you may still be able to use a wireless link on a laptop to access your data because the data center where your data is stored has power backup systems. Depending on the public Internet is no more dangerous than relying on the phone company or the gas company to provide needed utility services and your business relies on those entities every day.

Are these objections based on reality or the perception that using the Cloud services is so new that no one really understands the risks? The latter is more likely the case. New, disruptive technology has always had detractors that can’t see the value until it’s too late and their competitors have passed them by.

Mike Scheuerman is an independent consultant with more than 26 years experience in strategic business planning and implementation. His experience from the computer room to the boardroom provides a broad-spectrum view of how technology can be integrated with and contributes significantly to business strategy. Mike can be reached at [email protected].