Many organizations are benefiting from the cloud computing shift especially the ‘cloud channel’ if the awesome market predictions are anything to go along with. One analyst claimed recently that the market size for cloud computing was $40Billion but by 2020 it will grow to $241 Billion. Unimaginable numbers really and you could find conflicting mamoth figures on the net every day. One thing they have in common is that they get bigger. One often wonders how the analysts reach these gigantic projections. Of course we have seen this all before – Y2k predictions had the world facing doom and gloom and on similar scale we had predictions of technological and economic fortunes from ASP ( application service providers ) and .Net companies. And who was it that made all these predictions? Well you cant identify them individually but effectively the ‘IT channel’ generate the numbers and the news but it often feels like its the technology itself that is making ever increasing presumptions that one day ( soon or in the distant future ) we will all be using ‘the cloud’.
Technology appears to send out signals through its human masters ( or is it slaves? ) that we are going to store all our data in someone elses datacenter or that we are going to access this data from any device and any place around the globe. Partially very true I must add. Technology also seems to say we are going to pay only for what we use, and that we are going to be able to move from one cloud to the cloud seamlessly. It also suggests strongly that we wont need to do what we used to use before – we can throw it away and buy cloud technology instead.
Of course cloud services do make these points totally achievable and i evidence this by something I encountered the other day when I saw services offering the capability to backup data from one cloud to the other. Cloud does work – very well indeed. People like Apple, Amazon and Google have nailed robust and extensible cloud services and are not going to disappear overnight like Y2k. Their success strongly counter the quotation from Pirsig. However, not for everyone. The long tail of cloud providers is eventually flawed as profit eventually calls the shots for guys who are desperately down in the weeds of niche services piggy backed on the tails of cloud masters who have sold them capacity at knock down tempting prices.
Technology sits there tempting us to invest in its brilliance and wowness. Cloud is full of ‘sexy’ technology and its masters ( or slaves ) are spinning up new ways to innovate daily, or more accurately- hourly.
Public adverts at airports and train stations display effortless cloud imagery that feed the presumption that cloud is ‘the one right way to do things’. Children understand the word cloud. Listen to a child discuss cloud and you will think technology not only presumes there is only one way but that anything that contradicts their vision is for really old people. TV talks about cloud though I do contend that the day cloud is mentioned on soap operas then we can all pack up and retire. Picture it.Cloud being discussed in the Rovers Return or the Queen Vic. Emmerdale will never be the same if cloud is being discussed in the Woolpack ( is it still called that ? )
Of course technology is a bit like medicine. Its a huge huge topic with hundreds of different directions, levels of maturity specialisms and unknowns. To brush stroke the discussion with simple statements like cloud is the only direction for technology in the future is disingenuous by people who ply their goods in the market place today. Naughty in fact and as time will tell no doubt probably quite dangerous if they cannot substaintiate their claims and see their contracts tested in courts of law.
One size fits all is not what cloud is about, and any presumption by technology and anyone else that cloud is the only way is nonsense. Good nonsense though!
( Quote attributed to Robert M Pirsig ( 1928)- is an American writer and philosopher, and author of the philosophical novels Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (1974) and Lila: An Inquiry into Morals (1991). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_M._Pirsig