New value, old money, familiar issue?

Although this may not seem like it at first, this post is about computing in the cloud, hang in there to the end it’s worth it. It stemmed from a remark that Mark Oliver made in response to the GCloud post yesterday.

So lets talk about money, once upon a time money was made out of stuff that had real value like gold and silver. When successful folks (todays equivalent of business folks) got lots of it they developed a security problem. Keeping their real money value safe was a job they had to achieve through physical means, like hiding it away in what they considered secure places in their establishments or even on their person. Unfortunately this was a risky business and many of these folks were often fleeced both personally and via their establishments. Some saw this issue as an opportunity and started services to safeguard folks wealth on their behalf. These innovative entrepreneurs of their time created secure buildings to house folks valuables under lock and key, charging for the privilege of securing their goodies. Soon these entrepreneurs thought of even better ways to provide their security services, they would use the funds secured in their premises to create new value which they could loan to other entrepreneurs that had great ideas or big projects requiring investment.

In case you haven’t worked out what I’m talking about yet, the securing establishments were of course what we now know of as banks, the techniques they begun to employ were ‘leveraging’ making more value out of entrusted value, money in this case. So why the hell am I talking about banks and money, this is meant to be an educational cloud computing post no? Which brings me to my point, there is actually a very important connection between that period and now regarding value and trust. You see decades before this time if you had suggested to the well to do business folk of the era that they let someone else look after their money, they would have laughed you off their land, probably waving a large pointy stick for effect. But of course things change, folks get used to such innovative ideas and get over their irrational fears.

Well it turns out right now that business data (another form of value) is rather similar to where money was all those years ago. Innovative cloud computing entrepreneurs are suggesting that maybe they would be better looking after the businesses data than the businesses themselves, in many cases they have good reasons to do so. They can specialise in securing such data better than any individual business because they are in the ‘looking after data’ business. Many businesses are however waving pointed words at the evangelists representing the new Data vaults, chasing them away as fast as they approach. This will of course change and many businesses are already seeing through the thin veneer of change to reap the operational benefits of concentrating on their business instead. Indeed the more entrepreneurial Data Vaults are also now playing the leverage card whereby data entrusted with them is being leveraged to create further and greater value enabling them to offer lower cost (even free) data services.

So what I am suggesting here? data = money? Not quite, but your data is valuable just like money, I would also suggest that just like the money which you entrust your bank with, is very similar to how you should treat your data. That is come to terms with the fact that the right third party is likely to do a better job of securing or leveraging that data than you could ever expect to. So the question for yourself is really just who you trust with it and under what terms would you feel comfortable. What you should not do is chase those that have already had the vision to see this with sharp pointey sticks, instead do your self a favour and engage them in conversation and confront your fears..

*Note this post was originally posted here

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