Hope or Hype on the Cloud

At the 2009 Educause Conference, Inside HIgher Ed reports on The Cloud.

Woo, who took the anti-cloud position, said that just because higher
education is moving en masse toward outsourcing services such as e-mail
and data management to external providers does not necessarily mean it
is moving in the right direction.

“I’m not sure why every
conversation about cloud computing always has to do with ‘When?’ ” Woo
said. “Why aren’t we asking, ‘Why?’ “

She cited recent Gmail
outages and an anecdote from an organization she had advised who had
said a cloud storage provider lost its data. “There are security risks,
there are privacy risks — where is that student data being stored?
Where is that research data being stored? …. How is the private sector
going to feel when when we can’t guarantee that our research data our
faculty are generating for them is safe?”

Dieckmann laid out the
pro side first from an economic perspective, noting that economy has
become a watchword as many IT departments seek to maintain a high level
of service even as their budgets are pared down.