Some of you might be persuaded that cloud computing is the be all and end all to computing and our data, and that the localized server and data repositories are going the way of the dinosaur soon.

However, while the idea of cloud computing is seductive at best, 2 things will haunt us who are administrators and managers of data, and custodians of its security:

1) Internet connectivity. While South Korea is now leading in the broadband Internet connectivity arena, not every location in the world has good broadband Internet connectivity just yet. Wired broadband may have finally achieved decent speeds, but even wired speeds are fluctuating if you are using cable, or not fast enough if you are trying to work on databases that address large multimedia data. Plus, if you have been trying to connect to large corporate data sources via the WiFi, or worse, your 3G device, you know that is painful at best, and mostly unproductive. Perhaps when wired and wireless broadband becomes universally available throughout the planet, then cloud computing becomes much more tolerable and pervasive across the board.

2) Data security. Assuming broadband connectivity becomes universally available, there is still data security as a great challenge. Some of us early adopters have tried giving up the custodial rights to a third party to take care of our data, and know that does not give us 100% peace of mind. Sure, hosted email is a great thing, I use it exclusively these days compared to trying to create my own redundant mail infrastructure in the exciting days of the 1990s. However, what about our internal proprietary data that carries intellectual property weight? Or that data is always available to us anytime? What if at some point our employees need the data and the “cloud” is unavailable for some reason? These are valid fears.

So for us who are actually managing data, the cloud will continue to circle around our minds as we wrestle with needs and wants of our businesses. But to think that the cloud has finally closed the coffin on desktop and local network computing, I think there are lots more to think about, imho.

Copyright(c) 2011 Seamus Phan. All rights reserved.