Cloud based computing has already begun to take over as businesses seek means to reduce costs, free up storage space and not have to maintain expensive pieces of hardware, and with its fast degree of success – there seems to be no stopping cloud computing. One computer legend though has reservations about the switch to cloud based computing and has let the world know.
Stave Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple along with Steve Jobs, spoke on the growing cloud movement and predicted “horrible problems.” At 61 years old, Mr. Wozniak was the star turn at the Washington Performance of “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, of Mike Daisey’s 2 hour look into the labor conditions for Apple’s workers in China. After the performance, Wozniak spoke to Daisey and members of the audience of a wide range of topics ranging from reality television, public education and of course cloud computing.
Steve Wozniak’s Apple II personal computer revolutionized the computer industry just as cloud computing is doing so today, but he warns against moving everything away from the hard disk and onto remote servers (cloud computing). He went on to say that he is worried about everything switching over and that he sees horrible problems coming within the next 5 years as a result of the move away from hard disks.
One of his major concerns is legal ownership. Under most terms and conditions for the cloud providers, anything stored on the cloud is no longer your personal property and files. Using the cloud requires users consent to these terms too. Putting stuff over such storage systems also puts users in less control over the data they are storing and poses serious unauthorized user risks.
Wozniak worked for Apple for 12 years before he became a fifth grade teacher and then became a regular on the lecture circuit. Having been an innovator and driving force in the computing industry, his presence at such events is always noted.
Economic Impact: Moving away from servers, flash drives and other forms of hard disk storage to the cloud can save companies anywhere from hundreds to millions of dollars depending on the size of the firm. Its benefits are clear, as it frees up space, gives users all over the world access, and costs a significant amount less. The potential concerns are valid though, as ownership of files and the protection, especially of sensitive data, is vital to the success of companies. As Wozniak predicted, it would not be unexpected that if in the next 5 years the world sees lawsuits in relation to ownership or data being compromised as cloud computing becomes the dominant form of file storage, and companies adjust to the changes and adapt to make the system more secure and of address some of Wozniak’s valid concerns.