When we talk about the cloud, what do we mean? Is it a generic term to mean reducing IT spend and capital costs, a measure to guarantee the security and integrity of our data, or a lot of both? It will mean different things to different pay grades, but the debate rages over whether it is, or should be, a massive data storage facility or a proactive resource that can assist utility and infrastructure issues facing UK plc?
The whole ethos of the Cloud was to liberate business thinking from the straight jacket of conventional IT received knowledge. Businesses employ IT teams to manage secure data and ensure they are compliant with data protection regulations and PCIDSS compliance in that they are not holding onto personal details beyond the reasonable period that the rules allow.
Just storing data on costly capital infrastructure is a little like long-term parking of your prized Aston Martin. Yes, you know where it is, and you like the fact that it is monitored by CCTV 24/7, but that is a very expensive baby-sitting service. The cloud has since arrived and now providers are re-writing the rule book by not only holding your secure data in an even more secure multi-storey car park, but are suggesting ways of better harnessing it for a greatly reduced monthly fee, and even generating income from its storage via a consultancy service. It is like saying; let us look after your Aston Martin but rather than let it depreciate, we’ll advise you on how to capitalise upon its wow factor so that you ‘earn while its V12 engine burns’.