It began with Amazon's downtime, and has continued with the revelation that Amazon itself was the source of the hack attack that took down Sony. This has caused nervous nellies like Murray Jennex of San Diego State to suggest cloud computing be ignored by the enterprise.
But the problem here isn't the cloud. The problem is identity. A Bloomberg story describes the Amazon sign-up procedure:
Signing up to the service requires a name, e-mail address, password, phone number, billing address and credit card information. Users get an automated call from Amazon and are asked to dial in a four-digit verification code to complete the registration process.
Note what's missing? Proof that you are who you say you are. A hacker can use a stolen identity. He doesn't have to prove he is who he is.
Conservatives can scream "Mark of the Beast" all they want, but without identity the Internet will remain essentially lawless. Your bank account, your medical records -- all of it -- can easily be stolen until the identity problem has a secure solution, namely index terms backed by biometrics.
The cloud backlash, which ignores the real problem, is now extending toward Google, with people widely predicting the failure of its Chromebook.
I agree early Chromebooks are very likely to fail, partly because of the identity problem, partly because of immaturity in last-mile networks, but mainly because they're netbooks. Netbooks have basically been replaced by tablets. You don't need a typewriter to play with the Cloud.
But this obvious truth does not mean you discount Google.Because the issue in this case isn't Google itself, but the clients linked to it, and the people making those clients.
Client companies -- and it's increasingly clear that this is a gadget business, nothing like the old PC business -- are innovative, they're quick, and they keep coming at you. They're something like the Chicago Bulls defenders -- no on star can take on five guys at once. (Steve Jobs becomes LeBron James in this analogy.)
The Cloud Backlash is Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) that obscures the real issues. As technology rolls on, as server farms grow in strength and last-mile connections improve (as WiFi bypasses both cell networks and phone company gatekeepers) this type of computing will continue to grow.
There's nothing that can stop it save politics.