Ever since Google brought up the idea of cloud computing and software as a service, many companies have been quick to start offering similar web-based services, but Google admits the entire notion has an impact so great that many issues need to be worked out before it is ready for mainstream use.

Read on for more information.

If the recent developments and debates over cloud computing has not given you a hint on how significantly it is going to change the way we work with our computers, the latest comments from Google’s president of enterprise Dave Girouard should be a very good indicator of the kind of impact they are expecting.

“I’m not sure there’s ever been one that has this amount of strident discussion and debate because it is so fundamentally disruptive to how things are done,” he said in a statement while attending the Atmosphere cloud computing event, claiming that it “pushes buttons on people almost more than any other technology transition in history”.

While his speech focused on the business aspect of cloud computing, Girouard was also aware of the impact that it may have on the end-user, and has singled out trust issues as the central element of cloud computing.

However, he did not provide any advice or suggestions for those who may be wary of entrusting their data to strangers in huge companies instead of themselves, especially for end-users, saying only that it was “a complicated question and its not one that’s going to be answered”, implying that the computing public will have to take the cloud providers’ words in good faith and make that decision for themselves.

Except that doing so might actually work against proponents of cloud computing. Google, in particular, has already made headlines for its perceived lack of privacy features over many of its services, of which Google Maps and the recently launched Google Buzz are prime examples, with the latter actually prompting several governments to send on open letter to the company asking for it to adhere to privacy principles. If the public were to have its way, a few choice arguments from privacy advocates might be all that is needed to sway the entire world into rejecting cloud computing outright.

Source: TechRadar UK