Legacy Data Issues at Dublin Web Summit 2014 - Ignoring the Elephant in the Room
Having attended the recent Web Summit in Dublin, it’s clear that it was a massive event, very well organised, brought lots of people to Dublin, created great excitement, & created a massive buzz and lots of cool talk; however, having attended the Enterprise Summit, I was a little disappointed with the quality and content of the presentations.
Not all Data for the Cloud
One thing in particular that seemed to be a constant theme was that ‘all data would be in the Cloud within the next 5 years’. While one can understand many of the younger members believing this, people like Microsoft, Google and possibly other large organisations were saying the same thing.
What bothered me most is that these people could get on a stage and say this unchallenged as if it was an absolute fact when it is naïve in the extreme. If you’re young enough – maybe forgivable, but totally misleading if you’re experienced enough to know better. There are major issues around moving all of the data that has been collected over the years to the cloud that these people should be fully aware of.
There are massive implications around governance of data. There are rules that have been built up over the years to protect the privacy of people for very good reasons and the legislation is only getting stronger.
You simply cannot move data to the Cloud ‘ad hoc’ like this due to different rules in different jurisdictions. The safest thing you can do is keep your data on premise to ensure that when it comes to ‘ticking the box’ (and more importantly believing this), you can safely state that your data is where you know it is….not where you think it is ‘in the Cloud’.
There are fully understandable fears of data being leaked from a Cloud based repository because even with the best will and technology in the world, having the data ‘in the Cloud’ makes it easier to access and steal. At least on premise, the organisation controls where it is and who gets access.
Even if you could move the data, what about the back office applications that use this data? The major cost here is in training people to use new Cloud based applications which is an even more expensive task in itself than moving the data.
This has to be an evolutionary exercise to move the applications to the Cloud while the data stays put so that Cloud and legacy applications can share.
So all credit to the Web Summit for looking into the future; however, there is a legacy past that is being ignored which is more important than some social applications that can be created. Remember, these 20 somethings will someday be 40 and 60 somethings and will need to understand the 50 years of legacy ‘big data’ (yes, there’s a lot of it) in the future.