Let the NSA spy on us -- we're still moving to the cloud

A survey shows that IT leaders are still moving to the cloud, despite NSA spying -- after all, they really don't have a choice

Guess what? The NSA scandal might have freaked out a few CIOs, but it isn't delaying their move to cloud computing. I'm not surprised: They really have no choice in the shift to the cloud, considering the alternatives are not as effective.

In an IDG News survey, 20 high-ranking IT executives in North America and Europe were asked about the effect the NSA snooping practices have had on their cloud computing strategy. They said they're a bit more cautious, but not much has changed beyond seeking tighter security controls.

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Although the NSA's interception of Internet and telephone communications, plus its program to weaken encryption standards, are a cause for concern, the economic and business benefits of cloud computing are too compelling to ignore. Unless there is an obvious threat, most CIOs will ignore the fear of government spying and follow through with their existing cloud computing projects, as well as start new ones.

IT leaders understand that the NSA, as well as agencies of other governments, are snooping through their data. But they don't seem to be as concerned as many analysts and the press would lead you to believe -- myself included -- when the NSA story broke. I'm not sure if that reflects poorly or positively on IT leadership, but it's certainly good news for the cloud.

Yes, many people within enterprises are pushing back on cloud computing in light of the NSA issues. But it'll be very tough to sell that fear internally because of the cloud's hugely compelling benefits. The lost efficiency and lost business agility from not using cloud-based platforms are a lot higher than the loss of privacy and perhaps competitive information caused by government snooping.

When businesses run the numbers, profits trump fear.

This article, "Let the NSA spy on us -- we're still moving to the cloud," 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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