Heavy hitters in the cloud computing industry include the likes of tech giant IBM (News - Alert) and retailer Amazon. They, among other prominent entities, reach out to individuals and businesses with a need for storage space, and public and private entities are flocking to the cloud like there is no tomorrow. As a recent blog post at Statesman.com indicates, even the Central Intelligence Agency has sought space for its often-highly-private data.
The post indicates that enthusiasm for the new technology is not all bad, but it also warns that such excitement for the cloud could soon fall away to the sobering face of reality. Like the wave of outsourcing that swept businesses only a few decades ago, the cloud is taking businesses along for the ride of a lifetime, yet they may find that cloud computing does not deliver all the promises of a brighter business future.
Statesman.com notes that reports forecast the cloud computing industry to reach $210 billion globally by 2016. That date is only a short time away, and the market's massive value makes cloud computing one of the largest industries currently on the books. As technology improves, it is understandable that businesses will want cheaper access to their privately-owned data, and the advent of more efficient and usable software and security services will surely have them coming back for more.
However, it is the face of security -- the reality of data loss and information leaks -- that could take the wind out of their sales. A recent survey of Open Data Center Alliance members indicated that approximately two-thirds of them had concerns about data security. Where once businesses used to keep all data in house and service servers themselves, they now trust third parties to keep their data secure and away from prying eyes. This not only places more entities in each chain of security, it also places data in somewhat precarious, centralized locations.
With cloud storage companies holding such treasure troves of data, hackers will undoubtedly look to their servers as prime targets. The same two-thirds of concerned individuals in the ODCA said they were delaying their move to the cloud. Early adoption of any technology should accompany a certain amount of trepidation, and with cloud storage and security still in its infancy, perhaps those individuals and businesses taking the long view will come out ahead in the end by not jumping in with both feet.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson