A great exodus is occurring today, and it does not require anyone to leave their seats. Leave the hiking boots in the closet; this is migration of information. Data everywhere is moving from on-site servers to the mass connective framework known as the cloud.
Business in the Cloud
Online businesses have led the charge, and many of them are already 100 percent cloud dependent. A recent survey released by North Bridge Ventures Partners predicts that 80 percent of businesses will have integrated into the cloud by the end of 2012.
Government in the Cloud
For some, however, the area of greatest concern does not lie with business decisions, but with government ones. After all, the U.S. chief information officer Vivek Kundra recently released a press statement announcing the “cloud-first” mass cloud migration plan. This strategy will bring 80 government services onto the cloud within 18 months. NASA and the National Science Foundation are already on board, and the nation will likely release a collective sigh when the DMV steps up the cloud-based efficiency.
Kundra and his team also plan to close nearly 1000 of the federal government’s data centers within the next few years. These changes will not only increase the speed and efficiency of every government agency, but will save America somewhere between 5 and 12 billion dollars each year.
Pros to the Cloud
Pros? For starters, the efficiency of public record organization and capacity will greatly increase. Information retrieval speed will accelerate. And while government organizations will likely require ‘paperwork’ for all eternity, far too many of them still use physical paper, which is as inconsiderate to the environment as it is to our schedules.
More good news: public records will be much easier to access, and the spending of government agencies will be less concealable. The increase in ecommerce solutions promises more effective spending for all on board.
Cons to the Cloud
Most of the negative aspects of the cloud migration are fear based, and do not currently exist, such as hackers or mass server failure.
By the time mass cloud migration has ended, our definition of privacy will have changed. Any information that is not currently on the internet will be. As long as the records remain secure, few people object to this change.
The threat of hackers gaining access to government databases, however, is a large concern, and one that is difficult to answer. If ecommerce solutions fall victim to hackers, the legitimacy of online banking may be at stake. On the other hand, if any breaches in the government’s cloud security happen, the agencies will quickly adapt their security measures.
The risk of a mass internet crash is another concern. In the old system, data and information would remain secure in the federal data centers regardless of what happened to the internet. When the information is dependent on servers spread across the country, this will no longer be true.
Conclusion: Pros Outweigh Cons
We can understand mass cloud migration as a movement from owned information and resources to shared information and resources. And in this exodus, the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
About the Author: Brandy Curtis is a software developer who lives in Venice Beach. In her free time, she writes grotesque science fiction novels, designs shopping cart software logos on Photoshop, and writes pleasant freelance articles.
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