What Google Health’s demise says about the cloud and your data

January 2, 2012 Comments Off on What Google Health’s demise says about the cloud and your data

I’m an enthusiastic advocate and user – both professionally and personally – of cloud-based services. But I’m also a realist and fairly cynical, especially when it comes to looking out for my own information.

Every so often, an event occurs that validates my concerns. You may have missed this, but Google has just completed the shutdown of their cloud-based Google Health service. Even if you never used this service (and apparently not enough people did), this event should give you pause for thought.

If even Google eventually shuts down services for business reasons, can you ever count on storing vital data in the cloud indefinitely? At least Google has the courtesy to tell you how to download your data. What happens when your cloud provider doesn’t offer an easy way off their platform? Or goes out of business in the middle of the night? Or is acquired?

Fortunately, there are a number of simple things you can do to safeguard your data from provider shutdown. I’ll describe some of these guidelines in a future posting.

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