Yesterday John Foley at InformationWeek wrote a post about how cloud computing is becoming more global as businesses in other parts of the world are discovering the cloud. Like most of Foley's articles, it was very insightful and did make me stop and think. But in someways I think he's missing the point of globalized cloud computing.
It's not about one endless global cloud, one with no defined borders or geography, but instead it's about the localization of cloud computing within these new and emerging regions around globe. It's about the opportunity that flexible and efficient distributed computing enables as an economic & social stimulus. More over, it's about empowering those who have up until now been passed by on the information super highway.
Let me say, I'm the first to admit that this very well might be a case where it certainly depends on your point of view (the glass is half full or or half empty). For a lot of American based technology vendors, writers, and techno pundants, the United States is the center of the world, anything beyond the borders of the U.S. can be looked at as "Global". But the reality is the opposite. Whether it's a State, a Province, Country or broader region -- geographic boundaries matter. The fact is a large portion of the world is not comfortable hosting applications within the U.S. -- whether for reason of compliance, regulatory, governance, speed, or cost, the U.S. is not an optimal location to host web applications.
If you provide any web based services to a particular region, why host else where? The sudden interest in cloud computing from regions outside of the U.S. is indicative of a move toward localization, not globalization.
I do agree with Foley's closing remarks, "As cloud computing expands around the world, it's interesting to see what opportunities companies are pursuing and what problems they're looking to solve. At the same time, look for early adopters to encounter new challenges in the areas such as security, data governance, and interoperability."