blog In his twenties, you may find it hard to believe (cough) that your humble writer was something of an idealist, taking a black and white view to every issue and always believing that there was one side of every argument that was “right”, with the other side being “wrong”. Comes, no doubt, of reading too many awesome fantasy novels. Of course, many of us change as we get older, and start taking a more nuanced view of the world. Most things, it turns out, aren’t black and white at all — they only appeared to be.
This is why we really enjoyed this interview which ZDNet has published with Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade CIO Tuan Dao. As Dao points out (we recommend you click here for the full article), his department makes extensive use of cloud computing-style technologies, he still remains cynical about buying into its hype. Dao says:
“I am a firm believer in the capabilities that cloud computing can offer, but hype is what I have a problem with. I think industry and parts of government have been overzealous in thinking it is the answer to everything, when in reality, the issues [around data security and privacy] we have been trying to deal with over the last seven years have not been dealt with,” he said.
Your writer has been making this argument, and similar arguments, for some time. The reality is that “cloud computing” or “not cloud computing” is a false dichotomy. Virtually every Australian organisation of any size is using something which could be broadly classed as “cloud”, whether it’s public cloud such as Amazon Web Services for their website, Salesforce.com for their CRM or even private cloud features such as per-department virtual server billing internally. But virtually every Australian organisation of any size is also using traditional IT platforms of some kind.
To say people should follow one or the other paradigm exclusively is just a nonsense: Sensible technologists will use the best technology for every job, regardless of the current level of hype around it. As Gartner has long told us, hype about any technology will dissipate eventually, and be replaced with something much more productive. The trick is to make use of the right tools for the right situation. The meta-discussion about what it all means is interesting; but it’s not always functional.