Konfuzius-1770 Set the dial and rip it off – all the hits from the 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond – you’re listening to the K-Cloud.  We got The Puffy & Fluffy Show to get you going in the morning, Cumulous takes you through midday with lunchtime legion, Mist and Haze get you home with 5 o’clock funnies and drive-time traffic while Vapor billows overnight for all you insomniacs.  K-Cloud; Radio Everywhere.

I came across this article which discusses Radio’s analogue to digital transition and it’s slow but eventual move to cloud computing.  How ‘Embracing cloud computing requires a complete rethinking of the design, operation and planning of a station’s data center.’  Industries like utilities, technology, insurance, government and others are already using the cloud while the broadcast community is just starting it’s exploration, according to Tom Vernon, a long-time contributor to Radio World. 

Like many of you, I grew up listening to the radio (music, I’m not that old) and still have a bunch of hole-punched record albums for being the 94th caller.  I listened to WHJY (94-HJY) in Providence and still remember the day in 1981 when it switched from JOY, a soft, classical station to Album-Orientated Rock.  Yes, I loved the hair-metal, arena rock, new wave, pop and most what they now call classic rock.  It’s weird remembering ‘Emotional Rescue’ and ‘Love Rollercoaster’ playing on the radio as Top 40 hits and now they are considered ‘classics.’   Um, what am I then?!? 

That article prompted me to explore the industries that have not embraced the cloud, and why.  Risk adverse industries immediately come to mind, like financial and health care.  There have been somewhat contradictory stories and surveys recently indicating both that, they are hesitant to adopt the cloud and ready to embrace the cloud.  A survey by LogLogic says that 60% of the financial services sector felt that cloud computing was not a priority or they were risk-averse to cloud computing.  This is generally an industry that historically has been an early adopter of new technologies.  The survey indicates that they will be spending IT dollars on ‘essential’ needs and that security questions and data governance concerns is what’s holding them back from cloud adoption.

About a week later, results from a survey done by The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and IBM reports that there is now a strong interest in cloud computing after a couple years of reluctance.  The delay was due to the cost of implementing new technologies and the lack of talent needed to mange those systems.  Security is not the barrier that it once was since their cloud strategies include security ramifications.  They better understand the security risks and calculate that into their deployment models.  This InformationWeek.com story says that the financial services industry is indeed interested in cloud computing, as long as it’s a Private Cloud.  The one’s behind the corporate firewall, not Public floaters.  And that security was not the real issue, regulations and compliance with international border laws were the real holdback.

In the healthcare sector, according to yet another survey,  Accenture says that 73% said they are planning cloud movements while nearly one-third already have deployed cloud environments.  This story also says that ‘healthcare firms are beginning to realize that cloud providers actually may offer more robust security than is available in-house.’ 

Is there a contradiction?  Maybe.  More, I think it shows natural human behavior and progression when facing fears.  If you don’t understand something and there is a significant risk involved we’ll generally say, ‘no thanks’ to preserve our safety and security.  As the dilemma is better understood and some of the fears are either addressed or accounted for, the threat level is reduced and progress can be made.  This time around, while there are still concerns, we are more likely to give it a try since we know what to expect.  A risk assessment exercise gives us the tools to manage the fears.  Maybe the threat is high but the potential of it occurring is low or the risk is medium but we now know how to handle it.  It’s almost like jumping out of a plane.  If you’ve never done it, that first 3000ft tethered leap can be freighting – jumping at that height, hoping a huge piece of fabric will hold and glide you to a safe landing on the ground.  But once you’ve been through training, practiced it a few times, understand how to deploy your backup ‘chute and realize the odds are in your favor, then it’s not so daunting.  This may be what’s happening with risk averse industries and cloud computing.  Initially, the concerns, lack of understanding, lack of visibility, lack of maturity, lack of control, lack of security mechanisms and their overall fear kept these entities away, even with the lure of flexibility and potential cost savings.  Now that there is a better understanding of what types of security solutions a cloud provider can and cannot offer along with the knowledge of how to address specific security concerns, it’s not so scary any more.

Incidentally, I had initially used KCLD and WCLD for my cloud stations until I realized that they were already taken by real radio stations out of Minnesota and Mississippi.

And one from Confucius: Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.

ps

The CloudFucius Series: Intro, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

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