Fears of cloud failure in 2010

IT expert Mark Anderson has stated in a deliberately provocative blog on ZDNet.co.uk that he believes a catastrophe will befall cloud computing in 2010 that could change opinions of the platform and damage confidence in the benefits that it affords.

Mr Anderson said that if an event occurs which brings into question the security of cloud computing solutions then cloud vendors could easily lose the trust of their clients and the growth of cloud computing could be hampered.

Mr Anderson went on to state that a consequence of such an event would be the shifting of the cloud computing demographic away from business users and towards the consumer market.

In a counter-article on the same site expert Mary Branscome tackled the issues raised by Mr Anderson and explored the ways in which cloud computing providers would have to adapt to the coming events of 2010.

Ms Branscome pointed out that the inevitable cloud security issues which could arise at any point may not put off many potential customers, as all established security systems have flaws which can and have been exploited in the past. She identified the fact that although data encryption is highly recommended it has not been universally adopted and firms have continued to lose data as a result.

The reasons for businesses holding back from adopting data encryption are because of the complexity of initiating and correctly utilising such systems, according to Ms Branscome. She compared this to the relative simplicity and cost savings that cloud computing offers in contrast, which makes it a far more attractive solution for data backup.

Mr Anderson suggested that cloud computing would be an excellent prospect for brand new businesses, but that over time it would prove to be less and less cost-effective. Ms Branscome countered this by saying that the expertise which was necessary to make the most efficient use of the cloud was still specialised, but that as the popularity of cloud computing platforms grows it will be easier for all businesses to benefit from its positive aspects.

Ms Branscome concluded by saying that potential cloud computing customers would have to look at the platform as a step in the right direction towards better business management and data protection rather than an infallible answer to all IT management problems.

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