I have never given much thought to clouds. They float around in the sky, sometimes dropping rain or snow on me, but other than that they don’t register in my thoughts. I’ve heard people talk about different types of cloud, but having slept through Geography lessons at school I really can’t tell one from another. The only clouds that I do take notice of are those in paintings by the English artist Turner, HIS clouds are beautiful.
Watching a documentary about Turner on TV the other night, I was surprised to learn that his painting was informed by the science of the day and in particular by Luke Howard who, in 1803, named the three principal categories of cloud! Before that, it seems that everyone thought all clouds were the same, much as I did.
Working in the Information Technology industry, it seems that every vendor is talking about their Cloud solution. And so are most of my clients, who firmly believe there are cost savings and other benefits in moving to the Cloud. Even politicians are talking about the Cloud – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-adopts-cloud-first-policy-for-public-sector-it
Everyone is talking about the Cloud, and it is easy to look at all the press releases and news and think that all things Cloud are the same. But that’s not true. When we look closely at our modern Cloud we see it is comprised of many different but often similar services and characteristics. A simple definition and classification of the Cloud, shared by everyone, would help us to categorize and compare services and help shape strategies for its use.
If you search the Internet then you’ll find thousands of definitions of the Cloud, or parts of it. I’ve read a large number of them! For me, the simplest and clearest definition can be found in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-145, by Peter Mell and Timothy Grance – http://dx.doi.org/10.6028/NIST.SP.800-145
My main interest in the Cloud is the effect it will have on the future of eDiscovery at my clients. By categorizing the Cloud service using the NIST guidelines, we can develop standard requirements for discovery activities and ensure these are built into the Cloud service that before it is commissioned. Good Information Governance and Records Management practices are essential components of these Cloud projects, and taking these into account at the outset will save a lot of time and money in the future.
Innovative Development is working on a Cloud eDiscovery whitepaper, looking in depth at the issues, risks, best practices and planning that all companies will encounter in the future. We are keen to hear other people’s opinions on this subject, so please feel free to contact us. And make sure you do not miss out on this whitepaper – sign up for our newsletter.