11/13/2012 10:50:00 AM EST
Can Corporate Counsel Tame Cloud Computing?
Owning data can be like owning a tiger. Both are
extremely powerful and useful-even essential-for your particular business.
Specific laws govern how both are to be treated and maintained. It is also
very, very bad if you lose either of them.
Which brings us to cloud computing, the model where you
hand your tiger over to a zoo for safekeeping. As corporate counsel, you need
to understand, and be involved in, the business more than ever before. You need
to learn the language of the cloud and prepare to advise senior management on
the legal issues that will certainly arise.
Wild About the Cloud
The idea is easy to understand: the "zoo" has vastly more
resources and efficiencies. It can protect and maintain your precious tiger
with more expertise than you have in-house. Thanks to the Internet, this is
possible for your corporate data. According to the contract you sign, you are
allowed access anywhere in the world, 99.999% of the time. There are hundreds
of articles out there to help you understand how the cloud works.
Everyone Loves the Zoo
Some experts think that cloud computing could cut
corporate IT costs by half. Because of their scale, cloud providers can
ostensibly pay for the best in technology and expertise, which translates into
better reliability and security than a company could manage in-house. The cloud
also adds flexibility, with usage-based fee structures and the ability to scale
performance up higher than any typical corporate IT department could even dream
of. With such a formidable upside, there needs to be a considerable downside
for cloud adoption to be even debatable. Unfortunately, there is.
Data Escapes More Often Than Tigers
The debate over cloud computing usually begins with
security-related concerns. IT professionals question whether service providers
can be trusted to look after critical and confidential business data. They are
wary for good reason: there have been a lot of high-profile escapes. For
reasons ranging from aggressive hackers to negligence to bad luck, many
cloud-powered companies have lost data, including Twitter, LinkedIn, Microsoft, and even Blue Cross. The consequences for American business are
measured in billions of dollars.
Read the entire article at This is real law.
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