Chris Gilmer from Web Worker Daily raises some valid concerns in his post on The Downfalls of online applications. As he says…
Everything is all good, and these companies do offer valuable online services, but what happens when disaster strikes? Storage servers do go down. Companies do go bankrupt. Companies get bought over, and liquidated. Where does our information go? Is it still secure? How do we recover our lost files and information?
Two important points he raises are Disaster recovery and Security. These are very valid points and here is my take on it.
All these online services are in very early stages of their evolution and are currently used by early adopters. As these apps evolve, these concerns will slowly diminish. The concern for availability of our information when disaster strikes will be addressed in multiple ways based on service. As an example, online storage vendors are providing sync of documents between their servers and users desktop making sure the user always has a copy of his content. There are vendors like OmniDrive, Sharpcast who already do this.
On the security side, control will be given to the user. When you create or store a document online, you’ll be given the option to specify your own encryption key when stored on third party servers. This way, only the user will have complete access to the content.
As I said, we are still in early stages of moving our life online. The pace at which the industry is moving, all these concerns will be addressed in very near future.