Cloud Computing Made Simple

| January 28, 2010

Cloud computing has been a popular term for a year or two now, but many of us still don’t know what it is or its implications. To a degree, it is old wine in new bottles (hotmail has been around for over a decade now) but it is also so much more. 

This has led to some pretty slick selling of the concept without being entirely straight forward as to the impact on the interests of all stakeholders. In an article titled “ Cloud Computing is a game-changer”, Peter Coffee is quoted as saying:

“The cost of one failed project is negligible,” … “Say you try 10 projects and nine of them fail. In the cloud, you kill the nine without mercy. It doesn’t cost you anything more. But you take the one successful project and you grow it as quickly as the market conditions demand. In the cloud, the cost of failures become insignificant compared to the success of a project.”
That addresses the risk exposure of the cloud service provider and the business that builds a service on that layer. But it says nothing about the risks to which end users and customers are exposed, be they lack of service fulfilment or compromise of sensitive personal information.
But some clarity is emerging. A particularly good discussion of the issues is given by my good friend and respected commentator, Michelle Dennedy. She used to be the privacy officer for Sun Microsystems Inc. Now she is their Chief Governance Officer, Cloud Computing. Read the interview she gave for NymityNews, covered in its January edition.
In this interview, she briefly describes the excellent definitions established by the (US based) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on what is cloud computing then goes on to discuss some of the risks created.
Read the article. It is well worth the 10 minutes it will take you.

Malcolm Crompton is Managing Director of Information Integrity Solutions (IIS), a globally connected company that works with public sector and private sector organisations to help them build customer trust through respect for the customer and their personal information.  He was also foundation President of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, Australia New Zealand,



  1. foggy

    February 3, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    cloud computing

    Thank you, read Michelle Dennedy’ s interview a good detailed overview. more such descriptions will be needed to recognise the cloud formation as changes set in with more advanced the moment i do not know where my spatial management ends and cloud computing begins.i think it would focus on what all actual individual or group needs were they(real stories cases, instances and examples please) that stimulated the concept of cloud computing in the first place.we will definitely understand better.