It’s not unheard of, the idea of people embracing the very thing that once sent them into spirited flight. Consider the broccoli example.
Consider, too, the very prickly subject of cloud security, heretofore much maligned for its apparently inherently contained contradiction but, in a recent show of enlightenment, perhaps rewritten as saviour rather than villain.
In this Wall Street Journal article, a big-picture pundit introduces the extraordinary idea that the cloud may in fact be the safest place to store our data, the deafening cries that have long argued the opposite notwithstanding.
The article’s author, John Bussey, submits that data consigned to the cloud actually enjoys an abundance of sophisticated security-enhancing features that an organization, particularly one in the small-to-mid-sized category, simply couldn’t access on its own.
“The sheer size of cloud businesses like Amazon.com’s Amazon Web Services,” the piece goes, “allows significantly more investment in security policing and countermeasures than almost any company, large or small, could afford themselves.”
More than that, Bussey points out, the average computer user is not as attentive to even the most routine security imperatives as he needs to be. But sign on with just a “plain-vanilla” cloud package provider and you automatically score security basics such as updated antivirus runs and as-needed software patch applications. Any upgrade from there improves your lot further with enhanced security features like data firewalls, high-end encryption and 24-hour tech support.
“Small and medium businesses are insane not to leverage the advantages of cloud computing,” Jim Reavis, of the industry group Cloud Security Alliance, told Bussey. “It ends up being almost in all cases a security upgrade, because they can’t otherwise afford the practices.”
Of course, this voice in the wilderness is still powerfully eclipsed by the hue and cry of the status quo. And it’s a position endlessly reinforced by the studies that continue to pour in with findings that tell stories of organizations’ enduring wariness of the idea of entrusting their data with an off-site third party. And this is the scene even in spite of an ongoing flurry of initiatives undertaken by IT security vendors, cloud providers and industry evangelists themselves to redress this issue.
Just this week, a study unveiled at the V3 Virtual Cloud Summit in Great Britain reported that a full 87% of enterprises remain concerned about security in the cloud.
And some 72% of small (fewer than 100 employees), and 63% of mid-sized (100 to 999 employees) companies told technology research firm IDC, in 2008, that security was their most pressing concern when it came to the notion of transferring their operations to the cloud. That those numbers had contracted to 50% and 47%, respectively, when the same survey was conducted three years later, is a thundering step in the right direction.
Because revolution, after all, is a slow business. Remember how long it took to come around to that broccoli?