A world where smart devices and the human brain connect to reach a point of “transcendence” may still be a far-off dream, but society is getting closer and closer to a world where all information is stored digitally in the cloud. While today’s cloud infrastructure is still in its infancy and far away from Matrix-esque human-machine interactions, the technological hurdles to move information entirely to the cloud remain achievable, both from a hardware and software perspective. The biggest obstacle to overcome is the lack of trust people have in the cloud.
Creation of global laws
The European railway system moves guests from one country to another and is governed by a multitude of the European Union directives that make sure these pathways use the same voltage, signaling systems and standard rail track sizes. A similar approach should be used for the cloud.
At the moment, every country has its own rules regarding the cloud’s privacy and data transport. The “Cloud for Europe” initiative aims to change that. It helps form EU guidelines on how the cloud should be governed — for example, what happens to users’ data if cloud companies go bankrupt. If the EU can establish these guidelines for safe and secure data transport, it could become a global role model and in turn increase individual and corporate trust in the cloud.
Communication is another key step in earning trust. It’s important to be transparent with users and partners regarding how their data is secured. For example, publish whitepapers, write blogs or reach out to the press concerning specific tactics used to keep data secure. Openness goes a long way in trust building. This isn’t just something for the more curious and doubtful users; it’s a repository for the press too.
In addition to being transparent, it’s important to establish accountability within the company to ensure that security and privacy issues can be investigated in a timely and detailed manner. Since most customers, especially private consumers, have few legal options against big cloud providers, they must have the tools to control, or erase, their data if need be.
Become a thought leader
Most cloud users are not aware of the possible risks in storing personal data online. Become a thought leader in the industry by providing consumers valuable knowledge about best practices. Reach potential customers through the creation of eBooks, newsletters or blog posts on topics relating to cloud data storage. Being seen as a thought leader in the industry will increase consumer trust and loyalty.
These challenges in cloud computing are not new to the IT industry, but solving them requires Big Data providers and companies to work hand-in-hand in order to establish transparency, accountability and, in turn, more trust in the industry.
Jürgen Kurz is CEO of Nero and a member of the board of directors. He leads development of Nero’s digital media solutions, which provide consumers the freedom to create, manage and enjoy digital media anytime, anywhere, on any device. Earlier he served as COO and SVP of products, managing Nero’s global products, R&D, quality management, sales and marketing, customer support and IT divisions. Prior to joining Nero, Kurz was SVP of worldwide products at Quark.