August 17, 2012
It has been strange times of late for cloud computing. The technology went from a wunderkind destined to save the world to something resembling the big, bad wolf, ready to huff and puff and blow any semblance of data protection clear away. Recent criticisms of cloud security may prove to be overblown, as the technology continues to mature, according to a report from Gartner.
The research firm posits that all nascent technologies go through a cycle up hype, starting from when it first enters the marketplace through the time it stabilizes and settles in for its productive life span. Although the place along this spectrum may be indicative of maturity level, this is not always the case, as it is more dictated by expectations.
Much of the activity exists in the middle of these processes, as the entrance is followed by a "peak of inflated expectations." Currently, movements like bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and 3D printing sit at the pinnacle of expectations.
Cloud computing was once there as well, but as the naysayers began to emerge, it fell into the "trough of disillusionment." Next in line is a "slope of enlightenment," when that negative momentum begins to turn around. As the expectations begin to gradually build back up, everything comfortably levels off.
So the building negativity around cloud computing is just passing, something that it must fight through to prove that is belongs in the technological world. Luckily for many, that process looks to take significantly less time than other innovations. Gartner projects that cloud to find itself sitting comfortably on the "plateau of productivity."
However, the cloud does have to deal with the growing army of doubters as it falls into the trough. None of those have been more prominent than Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who predicted "horrible problems" with the technology.
"I really worry about everything going into the cloud," Wozniak told Agence Presse France. "I think there are going to be horrible problems in the next five years."
According to Gartner's analysis, that projection may have been a little shortsighted. As the cloud's expectations continue to get lowered - it is not yet in the bottom of the trough - many experts will likely rail against issues of security in cloud computing and control over personal data, but it is only temporary. As the cloud matures, the trust will re-emerge and fear mongering will be a thing of the past.
-McAfee Cloud Security