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Irish Government Warns on Cloud Computing

The warning seems to go against Ireland’s intention to migrate to the cloud

It’s a move that’s a bit of a setback to cloud computing, especially as governments around the world adopt cloud computing platforms to save money and institute efficiencies. The move I’m talking about is the Irish government’s recent warning to all government departments and public sector agencies that they shouldn’t buy cloud computing services without legal advice, according to a story I read.

But while it’s a setback, I think it’s a move I can certainly understand.

It was the Irish Department of Finance that sent out the e-mail warning, and the agency cited concerns over such issues as data protection, confidentiality and security and liability.

The warning seems to go against Ireland’s intention to migrate to the cloud, as one of six key tech strategies to support a “smart” economy.

The email seems, too, to be at odds with the new cloud computing centers that both IBM and Hewlett Packard have established in the country, which has created 190 jobs. Microsoft, which is identified in the e-mail as a cloud computing supplier, invested $500 million (about 366 million euros) building a data centre in Dublin that it opened last year. That center will provide these cloud services.

The story quoted Ed Byrne, general manager of Hosting 365, a cloud services provider, described the Irish government e-mail as “damaging” and showed a “lack of knowledge” of what the technology involves.

As much as I think a government edict to refrain from buying cloud services is a bit drastic, I can see how Ireland is concerned about security and reliability issues. I would advise the government there to meet with Microsoft and HP, and if those cloud computing companies are smart, they’ll help assure Ireland of the cloud’s safety and educate it on the promise and potential of the cloud.

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More Stories By Hovhannes Avoyan

Hovhannes Avoyan is the CEO of Monitis, Inc., a provider of on-demand systems management and monitoring software to 50,000 users spanning small businesses and Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to Monitis, he served as General Manager and Director of Development at prominent web portal Lycos Europe, where he grew the Lycos Armenia group from 30 people to over 200, making it the company's largest development center. Prior to Lycos, Avoyan was VP of Technology at Brience, Inc. (based in San Francisco and acquired by Syniverse), which delivered mobile internet content solutions to companies like Cisco, Ingram Micro, Washington Mutual, Wyndham Hotels , T-Mobile , and CNN. Prior to that, he served as the founder and CEO of CEDIT ltd., which was acquired by Brience. A 24 year veteran of the software industry, he also runs Sourcio cjsc, an IT consulting company and startup incubator specializing in web 2.0 products and open-source technologies.

Hovhannes is a senior lecturer at the American Univeristy of Armenia and has been a visiting lecturer at San Francisco State University. He is a graduate of Bertelsmann University.