Cloud Can Do Anything – But Can It Do Better?
Forbes Magazine, typically an exponent of the cloud computing movement, recently questioned the trend in an article whose title goes straight for the jugular. Such a critical consideration of cloud and its import is in due order. As the piece points out, the geeks and techies of the world hold the real key to cloud computing, its history, and its ethos. Businesses and the general public have received at best, so far, a facsimile of this key — a feeling of connection to and usefulness of cloud, without responsibility for its origin and its future. But these people obviously lack the technical acumen or the sense of history to make an effective contribution to cloud computing, detractors may whine. I respectfully disagree. For the sustainability of cloud as a palpable entity, not merely an intriguing notion in a fanboy’s eye, everyone must participate in what cloud computing means, and why it matters.
One reason cited for why cloud computing’s relevance has seemingly waned is its similarity to electricity: a powerful yet ubiquitous property whose presence has seeped in everywhere, to a democratizing effect. Since we all have electricity, we’re all equal in an electrical regard. In the same vein, cloud computing wields increasing power to level the playing field between big businesses and SMBs, read-it-first tech obsessives and Joe Schmoes who’ll stumble onto iCloud. However, cloud computing as an equalizer doesn’t necessarily translate into the cloud as shrewd tool of progress. This is where cloud computing and electricity understandably differ. The latter has had more than a century of both streamlining and diversification, while the newbie cloud hasn’t yet grown completely into its full potential to both fuel IT equality and spark business strategy.
But cloud computing can undoubtedly mature into such fruition. Its propensity to improve how connected we are to our devices, documents, and digital forays is redefining the concept of being “plugged in.” With the cloud, networking is a state of mind engaged with through every product owned. Obviously cloud is emerging as a noteworthy condenser of time and labor as well. And the idea of “customer intimacy,” as pointed out by the Forbes piece, is also a major tenet and pioneering quality in which cloud is becoming an undisputed king.
What will nurture the cloud, helping to foster such hope for its future? In my view, it will be an emphasis on cloud computing as togetherness. Those of us who concentrate on how well it can unite us will help to push cloud computing into its capacity to bond us.
By Jeff Norman