Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president, has brought her country one step closer to enforcing a cloud computing policy designed to keep data within the country. A bill aimed at protecting Web privacy was amended to include a provision that would require cloud providers to have infrastructure within the country. Brazil’s actions are just the beginning of a world wide movement to protect and secure data from the perceived threats of untrustworthy US public cloud vendors who have been accused of providing the US government with near unfettered access to customer data.
Ever since stories about the US PRISM program, US public cloud vendors have been accused of indiscriminately handing over data belonging to customers. Naturally, public cloud vendors are not too happy about proposed laws like this as it significantly threatens their hegemony as provider’s of global cloud computing environments. Here is my analysis on what this move means for MSPs.
1) This is just the beginning. Brazil is merely one of several countries (like Germany, France, Australia, and others) who have already taken steps to protect their data from US public cloud vendors. As this mania spreads, MSPs can count on more countries making moves to similar to Brazil.
2) Public cloud is not going away. While some might view these country cloud laws as being anti-public cloud, it does not mean public cloud vendors will be going away anytime soon. Public cloud may not be all it was built up to be but it certainly has a role to play for many MSPs and their customers. MSPs should offer their customers both options (public and private cloud) in order to cover all their options.
3) MSPs need a private cloud strategy. For years now MSPs have been trying to find a path in the cloud. Unsure of what they should build, many MSPs have opted for reselling cheap and low margin cloud offerings. Now, with countries around the world basically mandating private cloud environments, the timing has never been better for MSPs to plan, build, and execute a private cloud strategy.
MSPs need to take advantage of this windfall and finally make the investment into private cloud. Just as VARs over a decade ago were being urged to make the transition into managed services (those that resisted paid a heavy price) so to must MSPs hear the call from customers for secure and private cloud computing.