A really bad week for Google and Amazon

Jo Maitland, Senior Executive Editor

Customers fumed and Google and Amazon both took blows to their credibility as security problems and outages this week plagued their respective cloud computing services for enterprise IT shops.

Google is in deep doo-doo with the Los Angeles Police Department for failing to meet the timeline and security parameters for

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moving thousands of employees onto Google Apps.

Meanwhile, Amazon Web Services (AWS) knocked out one of the Virginia data centers in its US-East-1 region for several hours on Thursday, leaving many of its customers without service. The AWS customer list is long, but it's mostly companies that can afford a little downtime without losing business.

One of the major reasons traditional IT shops are unwilling to switch to cloud services is the risk associated with security breaches and outages that will result in lost business, or worse, irreversible harm to their reputation.

"Dare we put it out there?" asked Lana Davenport, data security services manager at FedEx Corp. If Google can't secure it and Amazon can't keep it available, why risk putting it in their clouds?

According to a new report from Forrester Research, IT shops will indeed risk it because cloud computing promises to reduce the cost of IT beyond anything they can achieve in-house. Forrester predicts the global cloud computing market will grow from $40.7 billion in 2011 to more than $241 billion in 2020.

But it's a ten-year shift, the firm has said. No one in their right mind is cutting everything over to Google Apps and AWS overnight, unless you are (yikes!) the CIO of the LAPD.

Jo Maitland is the Senior Executive Editor of Contact her at

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