Summary:

Companies often need to decide between innovation and open standards when they put their data into the cloud. So how can we improve data portability?

William Gerhardt Cisco Systems Robert Jenkins CloudSigma Structure Data 2013
photo: Albert Chau

As more data is moving to the cloud, customers often have to make a tough choice: Do they want to make use of the most advanced offering, or do they want to rely on standardized solutions that offer them an easy way to move their data to another provider if necessary? “You have innovation, and then you have standards,” CloudSigma Co-Founder and CTO Robert Jenkins remarked at GigaOM’s Structure:Data 2013 conference in New York Wednesday.

William Gerhardt, director at Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group agreed, adding that the lack of portability also holds back investment in the cloud. “Once I go down a path, it’s hard to change my path,” he said, adding: “Data portability is critical.”

So how can cloud services make data more portable? Jenkins said that other industries have tackled similar problems before. For example, service providers established internet exchanges. Eventually, cloud providers would have to offer similar exchanges to allow customers to easily move data from cloud to cloud.

Gerhard also pointed that governance around data portability has to ultimately be about the consumer as well. “Today, the consumer is unaware of how their data is used,” he lamented, adding that consumers should eventually be able to have insights into and get value of the use of their data. “If the consumer is not part of that process, it will be a big problem,” he said.

Check out the rest of our Structure:Data 2013 live coverage here, and a video embed of the session follows below:


A transcription of the video follows on the next page

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