Why It Makes Sense to Own Your Data and Software

Recently, Forbes posted an article claiming, “Owning Software or Data ‘No Longer Makes Sense’”. Fearful of where this was going, I clicked on the headline and read the article.

To summarize, the article observed that the cloud was making life easier for developers, business decision-makers, and consumers. So far so good. However, they leapt across a few reckless premises and finally landed on the ill-informed titular conclusion.

First, let’s address what’s wrong with outsourcing your data.

  1. It puts your operations in someone else’s hands – This includes security concerns, uptime concerns, and bug fix timelines. The cashflow concerns associated with a mistake in any single category listed, is enough to put any business under.
  2. It shifts the locus of power when negotiating during your supply chain purchasing process – The consumerization of IT, by definition, adds extra vendor and buyer nodes to your supply chain. This should not be done lightly, so that you can maximize your business’ power purchasing position.

Fine, it doesn’t always make sense to outsource your data and software. But if we stop here, we have to choose between either the independence of owning my data, or the convenience of a cloud. Josh, how can I have my cake and eat it too?

The answer is simple – own the cloud. OpenStack provides a fully featured cloud to rival the other big boys like the Google Cloud Platform and Amazon’s EC2.

OpenStack is as easy to setup as installing Ubuntu and it’s free (and Open Source)! In fact, I use it as a personal cloud. Look forward to a tutorial post in the near future.

In conclusion, owning a personal cloud lets you maintain the independence and flexibility of owning your own data and software, while still benefiting from the convenience of the cloud.

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