Was anyone really surprised when Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency collects massive amounts of customer data from cloud service providers and (gasp) disseminates it as they see fit through the U.S. federal government? I mean, isn’t this what they do for a living? For those of you not familiar with their business model, I suggest watching Matt Damon explain why he “shouldn’t work for the NSA” in his very first film Good Will Hunting. He nails it.
At any rate, perception is reality, and it must becoming harder and harder for U.S.-based public cloud companies to sell Canadian customers on the fact that “it doesn’t matter where their data is hosted.” Businesses, rightfully so, view their data as intellectual property, and how many Canadian CIOs are going to sign off on the potential fire sale of their company’s core asset? Hey, we were already a risk-adverse bunch before Snowden bought a one way ticket to Russia and every Canadian CEO started asking questions about cloud computing and where their company’s data is hosted. Ironically, the cloud conversation finally started at the top level of every Canadian company. And, this, thank you Edward, is a very good thing.
Cloud computing has been called lots of things, but “the second industrial revolution,” probably summarises its transformational capabilities the best. It dramatically improves and accelerates the way companies develop, monetize and commercialize innovation, engage with their customers, and differentiate against their competition. These are big, strategic, game-changing things but the NSA/PRISM scandal has forced Canadian companies to take a closer look at the potential risk of hosting their data with big U.S.-based cloud companies. You know, the ones with massively distributed, highly scalable and very inexpensive cloud offerings. I’ve heard many Canadian CIOs say “if only there was a Canadian solution similar to Amazon or Rackspace, we could remove the privacy barrier and risk and assertively begin our journey to the cloud”.
In fact, there are a growing number of options available for Canadian enterprises interested in the cloud, including Allstream’s Hosted Collaboration Solution.
So, then, Edward Snowden may have shed light on a program that has been accused of possibly “killing the U.S. Internet Industry” (it won’t – the CIA contract Amazon just won was a big one), but I suggest we leverage Edward’s clean conscience as an opportunity to finally start building a viable Canadian cloud ecosystem. One that can compete with the Amazons of the world, not just because it is built across Canadian data centers, but one that can compete globally on its own uniqueness and merit. Wait a minute, are those drones circling above my head?
Learn more about a cloud-based offering that could redefine the way your company communicates. Introducing Allstream Hosted Collaboration Solution.
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