David Ramel

Forecast calls for clouds; are we ready?

By David Ramel
August 14, 2008 12:04 PM EDT
Okay, it's official: "Cloud" computing is the big new thing. The hot fad. The key buzzword. Don't believe me? Take a look at these stories -- all published by Computerworld just in the past 10 days.

And our sister IDG publications are on board, too. These were all published within the same time period.

I could go on and on, but you get the gist.

The inevitable fad-backlash has already begun, as you can see by some of the headlines above, but cloud computing is definitely something you'll be dealing with sooner or later.

But are we ready? With overloaded networks, ISPs throttling certain kinds of traffic, service outages occurring regularly, a shaky conversion to IPv6 and the threat of terrorists disrupting the Internet, can we really afford to rely on the ether to reliably supply our business apps and other computing resources vital to running the business?

And what about security? If we can't lock down crucial data on our proprietary networks, how much harder will it be when you're dealing with various third parties over IP?

Surely one day we'll all be working with small, wireless, mobile devices that do more than our most robust desktops do now, from anywhere at any time. Think iPhones merged with tablets.

In the meantime, make sure to temper the hype when your CEO wants to get in on this panacea-of-the-moment.

There's still a lot of sun shining through those clouds.

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