More Comments on the Cloud for Laboratory Informatics

I spoke a bit about the Cloud, last week, as there was quite a lot of talk both conferences about it. This is the post if you want to read what I’d initially said:
I realized, though, that it deserved a post of its own and that I should expand on some of what I’d said in the earlier post.

Partly, I wrote hastily about it. Also, I ran into Michael Elliott at one of the conferences, we started a conversation about it, and when I stated my opinion and he challenged it, I realized I needed to expand what I’d said a bit more to be clearer.

So, as in the initial comment I made where I believe that we’ve made some significant inroads into using the Cloud for various things, here are a few more things I should add.

First of all, it’s just another platform and another way to consider potentially outsourcing things. While the cloud does allow the heavy computing power that small companies need in order to do their computations in order to compete with the large companies, the rest of the concept isn’t that exciting to me.

The next thing I want to point-out is that using the cloud probably requires new thinking about your own comfort-level and procedures. For example, some companies are hosting their e-mail on both external and internal clouds but are not necessarily comfortable putting product data on these clouds. But if you send product data to people even within your own company, that data has now gone into the cloud. I don’t see an issue with that if there are proper procedures and training around it.

However, I’m thinking a little differently about that, now. During Michael Elliott’s presentation/roundtable session, he actually addressed that very issue and mentioned that companies are not addressing the issues. They come up with a comfort-level of which data they feel is appropriate for various clouds but do not necessarily think about some of these crossover issues. Thus, they’re not addressing these issues if they’re not even thinking of them.

Thus, most companies do seem to have quite a lot of work to do before they can claim to be on the right path.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

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