Are Cloud Security Worries a Thing of the Past?
Probably not...but that day is getting closer. According to a few recent studies in a few technology conservative industries, people and businesses are becoming much more comfortable with storing and managing their data in the cloud.
Even the most technology risk-averse markets such as health care, finance and government are rapidly adopting, and even advocating, disruptive cloud technologies at an ever increasing rate.
SaaS virgins generally raise two initial fears when they consider moving to the cloud: who is in control of my data? And is it safe to store my data somewhere other than the office? Though these concerns are real and very important to understand, the immaculate perception that all my data must be stored under my roof is being changed.
In a recent article on InformationWeek.com, an expert from Accenture was quoted as saying, "Healthcare firms are beginning to realize that cloud providers actually may offer more robust security than is available in house." That same story cited a recent study that stated that about a third of the health care industry already uses cloud apps and that over 70% of respondents plan to shift more and more to SaaS and cloud applications. These are very intriguing estimates in any field, but especially in health care where the regulatory and HIPAA compliance rules are so strict.
Similar shifts are being seen in the finance world. A recent study done by SIFMA stated how cloud computing is enabling the financial industry to push forward with technology even amidst budget restraints: "The [finance] industry is showing a larger appetite for disruptive technologies such as cloud computing to force business model change."
Similar sentiments are being echoed even in the federal government where federal CIO Vivek Kundra has been touting cloud computing so adamantly that he almost makes Marc Benioff seem like cloud skeptic. "For far too long we've been thinking very much vertically and making sure things are separated," he said."Now we have an opportunity to lead with solutions that by nature encourage collaboration both horizontally and vertically."
While cloud security is still a critical issue and something that must be taken extremely serious by all vendors, the mood is shifting towards general acceptance of security in the cloud.
John Soat summed things up nicely in his blog post on this very topic. "It's not that security in the cloud isn't still a concern for both [health care and finance] industries, but it's a known, and perhaps better understood factor…So while security is still a legitimate concern, it doesn't seem to be the show stopper it used to be..." So with your SaaS vendor taking care of you security concerns, you can now worry about where Lebron James will be playing basketball next year.