Cloud Computing: What UC Berkeley Can Teach You

CIO.com's Bernard Golden says a new UC Berkeley report has some sage advice for IT groups regarding cloud computing, but that it also underestimates some challenges.

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The second challenge that is glossed-over in the report resides within IT itself. In its list of adoption impediments, the report identifies "Data Confidentiality and Auditability." This is a commonly-cited issue, and the report recommends some ways to address it. However, too often this issue is raised as a stalking horse for a whole range of objections relating to risk that are brought up as reasons to avoid cloud computing. I have often heard these kinds of issues voiced reflexively, trotted out as rationales for sticking with the current mode of operation. While RAD has identified logical ways to address the issues, it fails to recognize that this battle is fought emotionally, not logically. Many IT organizations will hang back from cloud computing, citing these risks, but really preferring to avoid embracing something new that seems challenging. In my experience, culture always triumphs logic, and poses an enormous barrier to change. If you're advocating cloud computing, prepare to confront a concern with risk that will be steady and stubborn..

With its report, RAD has indicated that academic institutions are paying attention to technology trends. The work RAD did for its report is excellent and valuable and should be required reading for anyone considering the potential of cloud computing. .

Bernard Golden is CEO of consulting firm HyperStratus, which specializes in virtualization, cloud computing and related issues. He is also the author of "Virtualization for Dummies," the best-selling book on virtualization to date.

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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