The Cloud: To Surf or Not to Surf

by Mark Carter  on Monday, Jan. 11, 2010 12:00 am  

Ted Clouser of PC Assistance in Little Rock says the cloud has benefits, but is wary of affording it his full trust.

None of which has scared off one Arkansas startup from embracing the cloud. is a Little Rock Web-based legislative research service that is banking on the cloud being more than just the latest hype.

"Cloud computing allows us to keep up with our clients' needs," said Capsearch chief technology officer Karl Hills. "With the amount of data utilized in today's Web applications, cloud computing gives easy and cheap access to store and access the data needed."

Otherwise, firms like Capsearch might not be able to afford the startup costs.

"Cloud computing has the potential to provide on-demand computing for anyone with access to a terminal and an Internet connection," said Matt Price, Capsearch CEO.

Yoshigoe agrees that the cloud offers some tantalizing benefits, but thinks it'll take some time for the concept to fully catch on.

"It is already taking place and will certainly become a mainstream of how businesses can effectively cut their IT budget," he said. "At this point, however, many businesses are still reluctant to embrace the idea of letting the cloud, which is many miles away from their desks, store and manage their sensitive data. So, it will take some time before they fully trust it and jump in to the new way of running their business."

That trust is being put to the test in California. Last fall, Los Angeles signed a five-year, $7.5 million deal with Google to provide e-mail and other Office apps to its roughly 30,000 city employees.
"The success of that will play a huge role in the future of cloud computing," Clouser said. "There have been concerns raised about security of the data, and rightfully so. It will be interesting to see what transpires."

In the meantime, smart phone users - Sidekicks notwithstanding - will keep on keeping on.
"Cloud computing makes you able to get just about any information stored in the world from your cell phone," Hankins said. "It means that people will continue to stare at their phones a lot."

RELATED: Thinking of Going Cloud? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself



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