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August 13, 2015updated 17 Oct 2016 11:55am

What your system says about you (or what people are saying about your system)

By Guy Clapperton

I write about computing systems a great deal and one thing that hits me particularly hard is the tribalism that goes on. Everybody reading this will remember the PC v. Mac battles of the 1990s; it’s happening with Apple v. Android now.

It also happens in the corporate world. I attend a number of briefings about the cloud and whenever someone wants to say their version of it is more secure or better than someone else’s, they come out with a couple of comparisons – generally they will start by slating the public cloud and a couple of companies get it in the neck.

This is what I would describe as lazy, not to say unprofessional, marketing.

The companies that get the criticism tend to be Amazon and Google. Frankly it would be news to me that those organisations don’t take their security and quality seriously. They are avowedly not offering private cloud but the idea that this is bad service is ridiculous. They offer a different service. I wear suits at events; if I buy a mass-produced suit for something I accept that the shoulders might ruck a bit and the sleeves will be a bit long; if I pay extra for a tailor that doesn’t happen but at no stage is it a criticism of the mass-market retailer.

It’s the same with cloud services. It’s fine to say your service is excellent because you offer dedicated account management or a roped-off piece of hardware for private clients. Just don’t denigrate the parts of someone’s business that don’t need it. The chances are they’ll use both at some stage, so whose business do you imagine you’re criticising?

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