You are Vulnerable

You might have noticed that AlexanderHold.com have been offline for the past days due to the flooding’s in Copenhagen. AlexanderHold.com is hosted by a Danish web operator and the servers are not at my disposal. For websites of this kind, it is very normal to outsource the hosting as it simply makes no sense moneywise to be hosting locally. This is not up for discussion. However this has started some thoughts of mine, about the whole concept of hosting in the Sky regarding companies.

In these years it is heavily debated whether or not the companies should jump on the wave of Cloud Computing. I have always been a great supporter of the concept and I do also believe that we within the next 5 to 10 years will see a dramatically shift from devices operating on local hardware to devices taking advantage of supercomputers located on remote server farms.

However the little incidence that I have been witnessing for the past days have put my mind to be more sceptical and I have come to understand company security experts’ concern about losing control of vital business elements. The problem is that companies today are 99% dependent on their IT to be doing business. You might not be doing business on the web. However all economical as well as stock data is all gathered in ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, such as SAP and Axapta. Without these programs running the most companies cannot sell anything, simply because they have become too dependent.

As I see it.

The discussion whether or not to outsource the ERP to a Cloud solution comes down to risk vs. revenue. A company being very risk averse will never go for the cloud computing solution, where an innovative and risk seeker would go for the solution in the Sky, because it is smarter, more functional, modern, and overall a great cheaper alternative. The problem is when disasters strike, like the flooding in Copenhagen and all business suddenly enters a standstill. Will the operator prioritise your business in favour of others, or will you end up being shut down for several days?

The essential part of this article is not to discuss the pros and corns of the new technology of Cloud Computing, but to stress the necessity of considering the vulnerability of the company’s key functions. When knowing the vulnerable elements of a company, you have the opportunity to minimize the risk and do an analysis of risk vs. profitability.

I discovered that I was vulnerable and that I had absolutely no options in the current situation, but to wait for the operator to fix the problem. Knowing this, I am aware that I should not singlehanded depend on one source being functioning, but I should have others sources located on others systems available.