Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Jurisdiction and Governance in Force.com

Many thanks to the kind people of Salesforce who hosted a CIO Roundtable at the Andaz hotel in London. More about the hotel later. The event wasn't just about sales pitch. It was a frank discussion about the wider benefits and issues of cloud computing. I think just one person around the table wouldn't agree with the summary that it's not about whether cloud computing should be adopted, but a matter of when and how. The afternoon was studded with some fine examples, but one of my challenges in healthcare is that when it comes to storing NHS patient-identifiable data, we need to store it in England. That's right, Connecting for Health do not even trust the Welsh or the Scots with the data! So, this was something of a damp squibb for the adoption of cloud computing (especially with the salesforce model where all users share a single instance). However, all credit to Tim Barker, who went away and came back to me with a way of residing some data in a specific jurisdiction, but without compromising the user experience of logic in Force.com... such as Swiss Banks might like when they want to physically hold some data within the country. Tagged "cloud data governance", PerspectSys have created ways of running salesforce.com applications in the cloud, storing private and sensitive data at home, under real or perceived control, and retaining all of the rich functionality of the salesforce.com apps.