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Clearing the cloud haze

Rodney Byfield | Aug. 13, 2013
Much of the "innovation" in cloud is in the sales pitch and not the service itself.

Over the past year, I've had so many conversations about the merits of cloud computing — a sales term that to be quite honest, is becoming rather tiring. Many comments are along the lines of: 'It's so much better than on-premise computing or software-as-a-service ever was' or 'Cloud computing is young and needs time to mature.' But I don't buy it.

I now find sales pitches around cloud computing funny rather than irritating, but I do tend to think that often the majority of the "innovation" is in the sales pitch not the service itself.

Many years ago when I started in the IT industry, it was quite common to go through a period of "hazing." I'm referring to "haze tasks" that we would ask of any new employee — silly yet amusing requests to go and grab a long weight from the store, some left-handed screws, stripy paint or a steam bucket.

The intention was to frustrate but it was also designed to test the mettle of the newcomer; to see how well they took the frustration and whether they could see the lighter side of it.

So let me test the mettle of the cloud and try to frustrate its boundaries a little. I'll start with where cloud computing gets its momentum.

Anyone in IT knows very well that the general consumer thinks the cloud is awesome (even if they don't know what it is). It's a huge hit that connects mobile-to-mobile, mobile-to-app or mobile-to-app-to-mobile, offering multiple solutions from the end user to the interface.

Many of the social electronics utilise the cloud so heavily that if you disconnect them, they become somewhat useless. Don't get me wrong, I'm all app'd up.

It's quite funny the comparison of a day at home in front of the television to a day out bush, camping with my family. Apparently today you can't watch the television without your mobile device, but when we go camping (out of range) the device is used as a glorified camera, if at all.

A huge percentage of the content on these devices require upload and download. Mind you, for the most part, this is done seamlessly, often across multiple platforms. Take Snapchat for instance. Ease of use and intuitive nature is the key to any socially connected device for today's minions.

In addition, the age group and social dissection of app users cannot be argued with: tweens, teens, parents, grandparents. And, with many apps being free, there is very little socio-economic favouritism. I feel pretty confident in saying that the consumer cloud has exceeded almost every expectation. The organics of the now "mega beast" have changed the software and music industry forever. Sharing was always going to work. We just needed to find a way to charge for it.


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