One Cloud Too Far

One Cloud Too Far
30 Oct 12

Sometimes buzzwords are the worst part of writing about technology, no matter which company or which discipline of technology you are focusing on. Eventually even the silliest of buzzwords trickle down to even the most respectable and reliable companies and products. After a while it becomes standard and not even questioned any more. Such is the case with “cloud”.

While it is by no means a new thing and we have been quite force-fed the term by everyone and their uncle, it is still hard to define. Many would state that we are undeniably living in the cloud computing era, although I am not one of them. Personally I find the term to be grossly overused and underexplained. What one person or company means by “cloud” can be completely different from how another person or company defines the mysterious beast.

What is “the cloud? A question best asked in the voice of Morpheus, famous character in the Matrix movies. Just like The Matrix, cloud computing is all around us and very few are aware of it or what it means.

In actuality, “the cloud” is just a bunch of servers hidden away somewhere upon which you store your digital stuff and hopefully you will be able to access when you so need or please. The service I think almost anyone knows of is Dropbox, which is definitely a cloud service, although I don’t think many people could necessarily call it that. Hardly even Dropbox themselves.

Looking at cloud computing as only the glue between computers and mobile devices in order to keep files with you at all times, really misses the mark. Beyond just shuffling files around between units, it’s the ability to make any individual terminal irrelevant as the same information will be accessible on all the different machines you use. Drop one in a lake and you still have everything. Think about it even further and you see that your data, whatever it might be, is accessible anywhere, at any time, regardless of what you use to tap into it. Total digital freedom! Theoretically, that is.

Instead, we get people shouting “cloud” in our face and not explaining anything beyond that and that it’s good for us.

Out on the street very few people know what the term “cloud” or “cloud computing” means, and many have no idea how it is or isn’t related to actual clouds in the sky. A good sign that “cloud” is extremely poorly communicated from those who make it. It’s great that the traditional tech jargon is broken down into more manageable terms and explanations, but running around and chanting “cloud, cloud, cloud” as the universal answer to all the challenges of modern computing does nobody any favors.

Cloud computing, a bunch of great ideas, services and products, poorly explained and hidden behind a veil of buzzwords.

 

Robert Falck

Robert is a freelance tech writer from Sweden. You can follow his posts here on the British Tech Network, listen to him yap away on the British Tech iOS Show and read even more of his stuff on his site streakmachine.com or you can even follow him on twitter @streakmachine.

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Robert Falck

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