Clemson University Chief Information Officer James Bottum told members of Congress Thursday about “cloud computing”
He talked to a Homeland Security subcommittee about this being a helpful technology that can also create security challenges.
“They’re trying to get their heads around it. Cloud computing in my opinion it’s an evolution it’s not a revolution. It’s been going on since probably the 70’s, 80’s; we used to call it time- sharing, in the 90’s we called it grid computing and now we call it cloud computing. Those are typically marketing terms. For me a simple definition of cloud computing is accessing on demand shared resources in a very distributed environment,” Bottum says.
As members of Congress wrestle with the capabilities of “clouds,” they are looking at the national security risks to sharing information from sources all over the world.
South Carolina’s Third District Congressman Jeff Duncan serves on that Homeland Security- cybersecurity subcommittee.
Bottum told congress that practices and policies should grow in proportion to the use of this evolving technology. But this is an inevitable evolution, he says:
“Were in a very connected world now, and one of the things I saw the committee wrestling with the notion of the United States as a sovereign entity. We still have these governmental territories, and we have a legal system that was built up on that and a business system that was built up on that, but now we a global business environment. The economy is global.”
Bottom says the subcommittee had done their homework and seemed versed in “cloud” technology and its implications.
“I was impressed with the quality of their questions,” he says.
Some of the takeaways from his testimony, says Bottum, include the need for academic research and development as information technology emerges in business, as well as the need for an educated, security conscious workforce.
Clemson and Bottum’s faculty are also a part of a national testing group with Stanford, Georgia Tech, Indiana University, and Princeton, taking on “next generation networks,” including some innovations that will disrupt networking as we know it.