Could you please share your opinion about moving to cloud computing: Positive and negative sides, challenges you re facing, and especially if you are in Canada. If you know about any current articles and legal material, could you please mention it.
Perhaps you could further elaborate your question to allow responses to have some value? By that I mean, what aspects of “opinion” are you seeking? i.e. opinion about performance, sustainability, user acceptance/change management, regulatory compliance, pricing, auditability, etc., etc.
Also, are you looking for those opinions around the “moving” aspect or about cloud computing itself?
And, when you say “cloud computing” that is so broad as to be almost unanswerable. Are you referring to IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, DaaS, DBaaS, DMaaS, ERPaaS, and so on and so on?
Finally, in terms of articles (and ‘legal material’ as well), well, there are probably millions of articles related to one, a few, many, or all of what I’ve mentioned, so pretty hard to provide all that.
I guess what I’m saying is that, at the moment, your question is kind of in the “how long is a piece of string” category.
Cloud computing just means you’re using someone else’s hardware. The computer is always somewhere, and your challenge will be to determine what machine(s) is (are) being used, where, to store which parts of your information.
The biggest problem will be to figure out how you can define and control the chain of custody. You may be required to prove meaningful controllership over any information you collect or retain, and if you are using foreign services (e.g., clouds over the USA) you may also have to document who else has access. Many Canadian companies, for example, will not accept American-hosted clouds; not because we don’t like our friends, cousins, and neighbours to the south, but because we have less effective access and management to oversight, legislation, and recourse. Big firms may well approach this differently, but that’s usually because they are set up to work through foreign jurisdictions.
Here’s a link to the Privacy Commissioner if Canada’s page on Cloud Computing:
Remember, information always has a footprint, even in the clouds.
CannonSpark Consulting Inc
Hi Alex – As others in this thread have mentioned, your question is pretty broad. Given the context, I’ll assume that an unstated element of your question concerns the challenge of managing the lifecycle of cloud-resident content from a professional records manager’s perspective.
At RecordPoint, we have a fair amount of experience with that challenge. We’ve been in the business of lifecycle-managing content from multi-cloud/hybrid cloud source repositories for quite some time.
We have a number of customers today in Canada who are managing their content using our records management as-a-service offering. Today, their content resides physically in US-based Azure data centers. We’ve just announced support data centers in the UK and Australia. Canada is on the roadmap.
Aside from authority-imposed content storage-residency requirements, the main challenge when it comes to managing the lifecycle of cloud-resident content is this: How do you apply a consistent set of centrally-administered policies to the lifecycle of content across multiple different cloud-based and/or on-premises source locations?
The classic answer has been “you don’t – you just suck it up and manage the content using the mechanisms provided by each source repository (if they have any)”.
That’s a daunting prospect, which is why many organizations aren’t moving forward
RecordPoint was recently recognized by Gartner Group as a leader in the emerging ‘federated data management’ segment precisely because we deliver in-place lifecycle management of multiple different content sources via a single cloud-based ‘pane of glass’.
Data residency requirements aside, what that means is that we make it possible for you to allow users to pursue whatever content management strategy works for their business requirements without compromising the effectiveness of your records management program.
Our view is that users should be able to do what they need to do with their content, without having to pretend to be records managers and without their processes being impeded by records management concerns. All while supporting all records-management lifecycle considerations, of course.
The bottom line is that it’s both possible and practical to move your content management processes to the cloud, if you have the right tools in place to support your content before, during, and after the transition. That’s what we do.
Hope this helps,