The cloud computing bank wagon has been rolling pretty strongly recently and to be fair the bandwagon has been driven by some concrete announcements by major players. However, I think that we are running seriously ahead of ourselves if we claim that businesses are going to start moving away from enterprise data centers and towards the cloud.
As highlighted by Krissi Danielsson this idea was floated by a number of commentators including Dion Hinchcliffe – a blogger who has been at the cutting edge of enterprise 2.0 concepts for quite a while – in response to Amazon’s announcement of their Elastic Book Store (their ‘enterprise’ online storage play). To quote Dion:
The Elastic Block Store finally makes it practical, cost effective, and relatively easy to put traditional storage and processing of very large amounts of data in the cloud from a credible vendor.
While I have sympathy with the concept, I think it is way too early to start making this sort of statements. The recent history of cloud computing shows us that the reliability simply isn’t there yet. There are still painful outages such as when Amazon’s S3 service went down for 8 hours a month ago as reported here.
Even when the reliability problems are solved (and I am sure they will be eventually), the next phase will be adding the sorts of audit and security characteristics required by major businesses such as banks before they will even consider moving corporate data into the cloud.