When news surfaced about the government's expanded data snooping plans, aka PRISM, we wondered out loud whether or not such actions would chill corporate use of mobile collaboration tools like cloud computing. In fact we even asked the question during a Twitter chat, and a bunch of smart folks who watch enterprise IT closely said that corporations weren't all that worried about the snooping.
Now, could it be time to revisit the question? According to some recent research, reluctance of European customers to use U.S.-based cloud services could cause a drop in overall cloud business. Though the amount of projected loss seems more like headline fodder than real hard figures, it's easy to guess that for many overseas enterprises the idea of the U.S. government peeking in is enough to give any cloud-service choices a bit of a pause.
And InfoWorld's David Linthicum, who follows all things cloud very closely, sees the FBI's desire to monitor real-time data streams -- a story reported by C/Net's Declan McCullagh -- as yet another thing that could create a speed bump when it comes to the idea of cloud adoption. Are these things dimming your desire to move services to the cloud?
I like Linthicum's closing statement, and will copy it below in the hopes that government types realize the inadvertant harm their well-intentioned activities may be causing to the cloud economy; here's what David said:
"I think we need a bit of sanity here. If cloud computing is to succeed, we must have the fundamental assumption and understanding that information residing in the cloud can be both private and secure. If that can't be assured, either by law or technology, many companies won't see the benefit of cloud computing. Risk equals cost, and this sort of risk can make cloud adoption cost-prohibitive, despite the fact it's less expensive to operate."