Cloud computing continues to promise cost-effective ultra-flexible power to businesses, but at the expense of having direct control over corporate data.
And with firms increasingly concerned about data governance, and in particular the geographical location of their information – especially in the wake of the Prism scandal – some of the core concepts of the cloud – such as the fact that the data could be housed wherever the cloud provider's data centres are located – seem at odds with businesses' needs.
However, cloud use continued to grow throughout 2013. Here are 10 of the most important cloud stories from this year.
October saw the government announce that its G-Cloud programme had expanded again, with services available from over 1,000 providers. The G-Cloud programme is designed to enable the public sector to purchase cloud-based services in the most cost-effective way possible while ensuring customers do not suffer from vendor lock-in.
The National Grid is in the process of switching from using its own internal data centres to using a CSC-hosted cloud, and believes it can do so without negatively impacting on its security or failing to meet targets. In April, National Grid programme delivery manager Kevin Green told Computing about the plans.
"There's going to be a fairly large shortage of such skills," Bobby Soni, chief platform and services officer for risk management solutions provider RMS told Computing in September.
He emphasised a "...need to create courses or education material and paths for these types of skill specialisations, including vocational courses to establish them at a faster rate."
February saw Jayson Dudley, group infrastructure manager at accountancy firm Mazars argue that private clouds now represent a better option for more secure and manageable data retention than traditional in-house data centre storage.
"It seems a mismatch in someone's knowledge to say ‘we need to keep this in-house' when it's actually safer in the cloud," he said during Computing's 'The Importance of Archiving' web seminar.
The Computing Data Centre Summit 2013 took place in September and opened with the presentation of Computing research into data centre trends. It provided good news for cloud providers, revealing how more businesses are switching to cloud in order to increase flexibility and reduce costs.
[Turn to the next page to see Computing's top five cloud stories of 2013]
By eliminating high entry costs for big data analysis, you can convert more raw data into valuable business insight.
A discussion of the "risk perception gap", its implications and how it can be closed