If you’ve walked past a playing TV recently, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed that Microsoft thinks it can profit from “The Cloud.” The folks in Redmond would have you store your pictures there so the family can access them, use it to collaborate over the weekend in a small business – you name it, Cloud Power can do it.
The cloud is much discussed in the business arena these days as well, but that conversation is being driven, I suspect, by an interest not in power but in cost. Enterprise system deployments – of ERP systems, CRM, supply chain and logistics management, HR management systems – are time-consuming, and costly, and fraught with hassles and missteps and wrong turns. Wouldn’t it be nice, the thinking goes, to hand that all off to someone else and rather than buying a bunch of hardware and software and installing it in a data center (or data closet), simply rent the device that that system delivers from someone else, taking delivery via the Internet.
You don’t have to think about that very long, do you? “You betcha!” is the answer. As technology, the cloud is hardly a radical advance – it’s the client-server model of 20 years ago brought forward into the 21st century. But it’s now a cost-effective option; if you’re a business executive, you’ll be hearing about it soon if you haven’t already.
But there is one upside to the local data center: The data in it is secure. When your sensitive data is flying through the clouds ad is stored who knows where, how secure is it? I can’t answer that right now, but it’s a question we’re pondering here at Ventana Research, and one we may pursue. What’s your thought?
Let me know your thoughts or come and collaborate with me on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Alan Kay – VP Research Management