kaled - 4:39 pm on Dec 15, 2010 (gmt 0)
Ok, here's a legal question...
Suppose Acme Inc "outsourced" its data to iCloud or whatever and there was a security breach somewhere. Let's say iCloud claimed it was not their fault and Acme also claimed it was not their fault, who should be legally responsible?
If a court case determined that iCloud was liable, they would have to charge so much to cover their legal liabilities that the whole business model would likely collapse.
Or suppose private data was outsourced and escaped to the public domain or was stolen by criminals, unless iCloud had been approved by the authorities in that country, Acme would be held liable for negligence.
Irrespective of the logistical advantages or disadvantages of cloud computing, until the legal problems are sorted out, it's hard to see how any sensible company could make much use of it. At school, the classic excuse is "the dog ate my homework" - I cannot see tax authorities anywhere in the world accepting the excuse "the cloud lost my accounts".
And then there's the issue of transferring data from one provider to another - that will have to be standardized.
And then suppose it looks like there is some money to be made, every Tom, Dick and Harry will try to get in on the act, which will drive down prices, which will drive down profits which will drive down security and reliability.
So we are being asked to believe that, with all these problems that cloud computing has a future for commercial data - do me a favour!
And then, suppose a man with a digger cuts through your company internet connection, then what do you do?
And then, we are being warned about the dangers of cyber-terrorism and espionage - centralising all that data sure makes life easier for the bad guys!
And what if someone manages to crash the whole internet? The world won't come to an end if shopping and p**n sites are inaccessible for a few days, but if companies started using the cloud the economic cost would be astronomical - the incentive for terrorists would be huge.
So, unless someone out there can shoot down or solve ALL the arguments and problems I just put forward (and plenty more besides) the cloud has a very bleak future for commercial data - and those that do use it for commercial data probably have an even bleaker future.