“The Cloud”. These two words are whizzing around the business world (usually via the cloud, fittingly) at a frantic pace. Everyone is talking about this as “the next big thing”.
What I find extra-interesting is how vague this concept is, despite how popular the topic is and how simple it really is. I get the feeling that even those “in the business” aren’t all on the same page as to what “The Cloud” is (they’re over-thinking it). Microsoft has these “taking it to the cloud” commercials that seem to be adding to this lack of clarity. “Oh, the cloud is where I edit pictures!” No. Well, not necessarily. Maybe? Sure.
For those folks who feel foolishly uninformed, I intend this post to be a simple primer to demystify what all this talk is about. I’ll also probably insult the intelligence of many people with the simplicity of this, but you’ve been forewarned.
Ready? “The Cloud” is really just the internet and when people say things are “moving to the cloud”, they are generally talking about technology (functionality) that is moving from being local (i.e. located on your computer or in the internal office/home environment) to outside (the office/home) and accessed via an internet connection.
Of course, some stuff is commonly already in the Cloud and has been for a long time. For example, for many that don’t host their own email locally in their office, their email is in the cloud. Backup solutions commonly have an element in the cloud – so the data is stored offsite, travelling there via the internet. The software I’m using to create this post is “in the cloud”. I’m so cutting edge.
Some companies have “everything” in the cloud and this is really what the hype is about: How far will this trend go and how quickly? What does that mean for businesses? What does it mean for IT providers like Smart Dolphins?
I only promised a simple primer on the topic here today and I believe I’ve done that. I don’t know the answers to these more complex questions. My crystal ball is still on the fritz. I welcome comments, as always.