Casablanca in the Cloud

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I thought this piece by Jo Maitland over at was interesting, because it so closely reflects the experiences of a large number of businesses faced with the specter of uncontrolled cloud usage.

Indeed, the story is an old, familiar one:

  • Girl meets cloud.
  • Girl loves the fact that cloud can store big files so easily.
  • Girl shares love of cloud with Boy.
  • Boy, fearful of the lack of control, shuts down cloud use.
  • Girl, heartbroken, makes him reopen access, but promises all will be well in the future.

Not seen this one yet? Trust me, you will because cloud storage is great, wait, GREAT, at helping business people quickly store and share big files, from anywhere. No longer shackled to the pedestrian bandwidth of the email system, folks across the world are shoving big files into the cloud like there’s no tomorrow. 

Except there is (a tomorrow, that is).  And what looks like a perfect love story in the heat of the moment can bring, well, “regrets” the day after.

As I’ve said before  the cloud storage world is evolving fast, and the opportunity to share files at very low cost is so compelling that Ben Franklin, if he were alive today, would probably add corporate cloud use to his list of certainties in life (along with death and taxes).

You see, cloud skeptics generally don’t disagree with the benefits of cloud use. So while Jo is right on the money when she explains how the use of cloud storage services is so beneficial to corporate users, those cloud skeptics are understandably more concerned about the eventual cost.  

And like any bad relationship, the cost of throwing caution to the wind could be unpleasant. Not least would be the difficulties in keeping track of what’s moved out of the enterprise and into a cloud storage service, the pain of proving compliance, and the (as yet) not quantified risks of a breach at the provider that exposes documents that you thought were safely locked away on your servers.

For most corporate users looking at the benefits of cloud storage, this might be, as Humphrey Bogart says at the end of Casablanca, “the beginning of a beautiful friendship”. But do remember that not every love story has a happy ending.

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