Your corporate data needs to be in the public cloud -- starting now

By hemming and hawing, you're retrenching further into the data center and missing out on tremendous business benefits

Looking for your first cloud computing project? Chances are you're considering a very small, very low-risk application to create on a public PaaS or IaaS cloud provider.

I get the logic: It's a low-value application. If the thing tanks or your information is hacked, no harm, no foul. However, I assert that you could move backward by hedging your bets, retrenching further and further into the data center and missing out on the game-changing advantages of the cloud.

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You need to bite the bullet, update that résumé (in case your superiors don't agree), and push your strategic corporate data to the public cloud.

Using the public cloud lets you leverage this data in new ways, thanks to new tools -- without having to pay millions of dollars for new infrastructure to support the database processing. When you have such inexpensive capacity, you'll figure out new ways to analyze your business using this data, and that will lead to improved decisions and -- call me crazy -- a much better business. Isn't that the objective?

Of course, the downside is that your data could be carted off by the feds in a data center raid or hacked through an opening your cloud provider forgot to close. Right? Wrong. The chances of those events (or similar events) occurring are very slim. Indeed, your data is more vulnerable where it now exists, but you have a false sense of security because you can hug your servers.

If you're playing with the public clouds just to say you're in them, while at the same time avoiding any potential downside, you're actually doing more harm than good. Cloud technology has evolved in the last five years, so put aside those old prejudices and assumptions. Now is the time to take calculated risks and get some of your data assets out on the cloud. Most of the Global 2000 will find value there.

This article, "Your corporate data needs to be in the public cloud -- starting now," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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