Irish Government Warns on Cloud Computing

It’s a move that’s a bit of a setback to cloud computing, especially as governments around the world adopt cloud computing platforms to save money and institute efficiencies. The move I’m talking abouthttp://www.monitis.com/blog/cloud-computing-figures-prominently-in-fed-budget/ is the Irish government’s recent warning to all government departments and public sector agencies that they shouldn’t buy cloud computing services without legal advice, according to a story I read.

But while it’s a setback, I think it’s a move I can certainly understand.

It was the Irish Department of Finance that sent out the e-mail warning, and the agency cited concerns over such issues as data protection, confidentiality and security and liability.

The warning seems to go against Ireland’s intention to migrate to the cloud, as one of six key tech strategies to support a “smart” economy.

The email seems, too, to be at odds with the new cloud computing centers that both IBM and Hewlett Packard have established in the country, which has created 190 jobs. Microsoft, which is identified in the e-mail as a cloud computing supplier, invested $500 million (about 366 million euros) building a data centre in Dublin that it opened last year. That center will provide these cloud services.

The story quoted Ed Byrne, general manager of Hosting 365, a cloud services provider, described the Irish government e-mail as “damaging” and showed a “lack of knowledge” of what the technology involves.

As much as I think a government edict to refrain from buying cloud services is a bit drastic, I can see how Ireland is concerned about security and reliability issues. I would advise the government there to meet with Microsoft and HP, and if those cloud computing companies are smart, they’ll help assure Ireland of the cloud’s safety and educate it on the promise and potential of the cloud.

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