I’ve made the point before that while Cloud proponents like Autodesk have been happy to talk big on the potential benefits, they have been conspicuously (suspiciously?) silent on the legitimate concerns their customers have raised. The best responses you have been likely to see regarding such concerns can best be characterised as “glossing over”.
So it’s good to see that Autodesk has put together a white-paper-type-thing called Autodesk® 360: Work Wherever You Are – Safely. This 275 KB PDF, with 5 pages of actual content, puts Autodesk’s point of view about one of the aspects of Cloud that people commonly raise as a concern. This is a good start, but of course there are quite a few potential dealbreakers that need addressing yet.
How well does this document address this issue? As you’d expect from Autodesk, it’s gung-ho positive, but there is at least some acknowledgement of Cloud concerns, e.g. “Customer experiences, however, can be largely impacted by the speed and quality of their Internet connection”. In addition to such occasional connections with the real world, there are some categorical assurances that may make some potential users happier. Here are some examples:
Autodesk 360 is delivered from data centers in the United States.
Files and identities are safe during storage, transit, and usage.
As part of Autodesk‟s due diligence for customer security and protection, prospective Autodesk personnel with potential access to sensitive data are screened through background checks before being employed.
Once purged, your data may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time but will not be recovered or read by anyone.
Customers own the content they create.
While that’s all well and good, Autodesk needs to get its legal team reading off the same page and fix up its terms and conditions to make them less anti-customer. Otherwise, this virtual document is worth more less than the virtual paper it’s written on. Some parts of the document are only superficially reassuring:
Other parts of the document are contradictory. Take these statements, for example:
Working in the cloud is all about reducing the hassles and headaches that companies and employees would rather avoid, like …. Managing data security and backups
It’s good practice, however, to personally observe safety and security wherever and whenever you are using Autodesk 360 …. Download and back up work locally in a secure environment.
Cloud’s great because it saves you having to make backups. However, make sure you make backups of the stuff you put on the Cloud. Hmm, okay…
So what do you think of this document? Is it all spin or does it address your security concerns? If it addresses your concerns, does it do so to your satisfaction? Please have a read and add your comments.