“It is a concern some our clients express,” said Joseph Khunaysir, President and CIO of Jolera.  He was referring to the recent debate in The Economist as to the pros and cons of cloud computing.   “On the one hand, the bottom line argument is irrefutable.  Cloud computing is often much cheaper than legacy systems.  Capacity can double or treble in hours rather than months.  Applications can be continuously updated, and users can access their information from any device anytime from anywhere.  And as to information security,”  Khunaysir continued, “ cloud services tend to be more secure because providers hire the best in the business to protect their computing systems.  In fact, firms have resorted to encryption to protect the data and have intimated that they will off-shore data for clients if laws require this.  On the other hand,” he continued, “and I am sort of shooting myself in the foot, the issue of ‘lock-in’ is real and is being mentioned, more frequently than not,  by the CIO’s I have been speaking with.”

 Their concern is simply that whereas uploading and downloading of information is as smooth as silk,  what happens to the competitive situation if they lock themselves into one provider?  What about the threat of switching between providers to keep everyone honest?  It’s the only power they think they have.   You know,”, said Khunaysir, “ this isn’t the first time we’ve been down this path.  There was at one time only one telephone provider,  one transcontinental railway, and one electricity provider.  And while I am not suggesting that government regulations are necessary to manage what seems like a quasi-monopoly, technology that ‘created the issue’ is being used to counter the issue.  Firms are investigating so-called  ‘hybrid cloud’ computing that as the name suggests involves using a mix of commercial outsourced cloud applications and traditional in-house servers. IBM, in fact, is promoting a hybrid offering to compete with the pure cloud solution providers.”

“Let me summarize,” said Khunaysir.  “Clearly regulatory standards will evolve over the next few years, technology will respond, and our clients will unquestionably benefit from the give and take.  Just think of where we were just a few years ago with the Motorola flip phone.   I am confident that once again the early cloud adopters will gain an enormous market advantage.​”​