The recent assault on Yahoo resulted in the compromise of almost 450,000 passwords (more here). Big firm hacks like this are becoming the rule, not the exception nowadays. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were 189 known breaches from January of this year through the beginning of June. These security breaches have exposed over 13 million personal records (passwords, personal profiles, financial and credit info etc…). Here’s another reason to raise an eyebrow at the alleged Panacea that our industry’s hype machine makes of all things “cloud”.
If you haven’t heard yet … scores of businesses have been paying the price for trail-blazing early adoption with Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). Over the past 2 weeks there have been 3 system outages that prevented BPOS customers from accessing email, SharePoint, and web conferencing. And while Microsoft gave a rebate to some affected customers, and they offered an apology on one of their blogs late last week … I suspect they have done damage to their reputation as an enterprise cloud provider. What is worse, they illustrate an all-too-common cautionary tale in our industry; the perils of early adoption.
Leadership … whether you’re in the tech industry or vegetable distribution … it is as much about posing questions as seeking answers. It’s about encouraging dialogue and debate, building mechanisms to raise red flags early, and learning from mistakes. These abilities require discipline, attention to detail, and good old-fashioned common sense. Good business leadership means you have the ability to anticipate trends and market changes, and it means you have the willingness to adapt where necessary.
I have to admit some growing frustration with a few web-based apps I’ve been using lately. My position on this is not new; I have always expressed my concerns about web-based apps. Lately I’ve diverted some clients away from the idea of using this kind of Software-as-a-Service (Saas) for business-critical applications. The risks still seem too great for the kinds of clients we look after; service outages, security worries, over-busy servers etc… I don’t think this SaaS technology has demonstrated the requisite maturity for medium and large businesses who operate with numerous users running various business apps daily.