Confused about the risks/rewards of cloud computing? Squeamish about storing your data and apps on the internet—on remote servers and computers? You're not alone.
In fact Joni Mitchell expressed ambivalence about the cloud decades ago in her brilliant song "Both Sides Now" (video below). She noted the fairy-tale promises of web-based computing ("ice cream castles in the air") and yet she saw both sides of the issue and even questioned her initial love affair with it.
Sure, storing data & apps on the cloud assures unlimited storage, lower computer costs, universal document access, increased computer performance, improved data reliability, device independence, easier group collaboration—but there are still downsides.
Of course Joni couldn't go into detail in a three-and-a-half minute song, but she recognized that using the cloud requires a continuous internet connection, entails some loss of control, and runs the risk of proprietary data being stolen or lost. (That was her precise point in the now-famous line: "Something's lost but something's gained in living every day.")
In the end she was left contemplating "cloud illusions" and confessed—if I heard her words correctly—"I really don't know cloud computing at all."
That was completely understandable in 1967. But is it in 2010? Is it safe—and advisable—for you to move your business to the Internet?
Footnote to the above: in 1967 Joni offered "Both Sides Now" to my band (The Morning) to record when we were performing with her in Greenwich Village, but we didn't follow up on it and Judy Collins' version became a top-ten single in 1968. I hate it when that happens.