Cloud Solutions and Inherent Risk

This week provided yet another reminder of the dangers inherent with “cloud” solutions. When you depend on a web service and their domain get’s highjacked, suddenly your data is unreachable for you.

People, and entire industries (ahem, law firms), that are conservative in nature and risk-averse look at web-based platforms and start to think about all the things that can go wrong. What if my internet connection goes down, the site goes down, my web browser crashes, someone hacks the data, and on and on. In my own experience , usually these concerns are voiced because the person has some experience using websites, and sees things like that happen all the time. Everyone has tried to go to a website that was down, or had their own problems with Internet Explorer, and when you tell them a program is web-based, even when it’s on an internal webserver, that’s exactly what they start to picture happening, and they long for the days of client software installs.

Where I’m a bit more confused is whether these folks never saw all the problems client software installs involved, because someone else took care of those, or if they simply have short memories. Yes, all those things could go wrong with web-based solutions, and for every one of them, I’ll show you two more that could go wrong with local software solutions without even mentioning the need for a local person to fix those when they occur! The challenge, of course, is trying to point this out to folks who may have never had to deal with the problems directly the way the do when they see a website down. It’s not an easy thing to do.

How do you IT Pros handle the apparent “risk” of web-based products when your users are convinced the worst will happen with that model? I really am curious to hear.

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