I had a network outage at home from the 1st of February till the 11th, it was a long period (the longest since at least 2010), and this event make me think about how much we depend on internet and on the cloud for so many things.
Luckily most of my home systems don’t need cloud services to work (as an example I use ownCloud for files sync and mercurial for code versioning on a server at home) but of course I could not watch netflix or downloads games from psn and I had only the mobile for news sites and casual browsing (and I almost depleted the bandwidth).
But I was thinking of those people that buy systems that highly depends on cloud to work (there are also lamps that needs the cloud to be turned on and off!), what will happen during an outage?
Internet become a service we depend on like electricity, and it does rely on standards that allow to replace a provider with another quite easily.
On the other end most cloud services are not based on standards so is not trivial to move from one to another, of course many of them provide some exports functionalities but yet again not based on any standard so you don’t see as much import functionalities. There are of course exceptions: for services like dropbox, is just a matter of moving files from a directory to another (losing history thought) but most are not as easy.
Lets return to the cloud lamps, if the company that provides the service cease operation the lights will stop woking and you have to replace them all, and what if all your house lights are based on it? You will be left alone in the dark…
The cloud is a valuable resource but also a risk due to lack of standards and security/privacy concerns, I’m not saying that people should avoid it but I think that we should all be aware of related risks.