At the Supernova Conference in San Francisco, Amazon Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels broadly outlines the benefits of a cloud-based infrastructure. In video clip, he says Web services offer businesses four distinct advantages:
- Lower costs (both capital and operational)
- Reducing time to market (as the provisioning of IT resources cease to be a barrier)
- Increased security (using cloud services that are more secure than those you could build on your own)
- Better scalability
I agree with all of Vogels' assertions about the cloud, except Number 3. Yes, some businesses with limited IT resources, will find cloud solutions to be more secure than those they could build in-house. However, the cloud has yet to prove it can meet the security requirements of many organizations. Take HP for example.
In a previous post, I wrote about HP CEO Mark Hurd's cloud comments during the 2009 Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, FL. He talked about how the company plans to layer cloud services on its infrastructure in the future. However, with more than 1,000 hacks a day, security creates an important need on differentiating what they put in public versus private clouds. "We wouldn't put anything material in nature outside the firewall," Hurd said. (Note: HP markets its own Cloud Assure solution.)
At the time I asked TechRepublic members, if they trusted current security measures enough to place "material information" in a cloud outside their firewall? As the following chart shows, over 90 percent of those who responded said "No".
Although the number of respondents to the poll was relative small (162), it seems Amazon, HP, and other cloud service providers still have a long way to go before a majority of IT professionals are convinced that the cloud is as secure, if not more so, than their in-house systems. What do you think?
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.