Last week I wrote a post about why cloud computing is important to more than Information Technology groups. My main position was that people today are becoming connected to the internet with more than a single device. Gone are the days of a single PC. Today, many consumers are connecting to data and other people with their PC/Laptop, Smartphone, tablet, iPad, etc.
So the availability of data is becoming more relevant to consumers today. Over the past year I’ve been transitioning myself to the cloud and trying services for documents, music, photographs, passwords, videos, and social sharing. I’ve come to the point that now my default thinking about data storage is somewhere online. Our society needs to rethink the meaning of “get your head out of the clouds”.
Initially I was concerned about security of my data and privacy of the contents. Let’s breakdown security first. Is a data center of an operating entity more secure than my house or my computing devices which tend to be mobile? For physical security that’s a resounding yes. I performed backups and archiving at home, but might forget to get the local copy off-site to a storage location or in a safe. It’s nice to know, or maybe a peace of mind, to know an organization is doing this for me.
But what about privacy of the contents through soft access by data system hacking? I decided to reduce password exposure by creating different passwords for each service. If the provider is hacked then I guess I run the risk of exposure along with thousands of others. Same risk holds for any place that has personal information about me though (doctor’s offices, IRS, credit card company, bank, etc.). I guess my point is that this is a risk for everyone unless you go off the grid and move to a cabin in deep Montana. I’ve had exposure to a service from a well known company that aggregates public records. Trust me, your life footprint is large and available in public records for others to see.
That brings us to usability. With data “in the cloud”, I pull it whenever and wherever I am. It’s not something I have to think about. It’s just there. People like simple. People use simple.
Oh make sure others know where the data is and how to access it (your passwords!). One day you hope to reside in the clouds. Orphaned data is a lonely place.