Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Up in the clouds ?
There is a lot of talk about cloud computing at the moment. This is where storage and processing is located remotely in the network and communication channels are so fast that devices and their users can store stuff in the cloud and use processing capability in the cloud which does not need to be available locally. Google are great exponents of this; in fact the Blogger system I am using here is to some extent an example of the cloud. Almost all players are beginning to offer these cloud services, especially in a business context, where the idea of outsourcing and cost reduction are second nature. Apple for example is flirting with the cloud idea with MobileMe and the recently announced iWork.com initiative.
But is there something inherent for consumer, non business individuals, ordinary people about the idea of regarding ownership and safety with local physical location? I'm thinking of how some people prefer to keep their money in a box under the bed rather than in a bank. Would my parents feel safer having their personal keepsake photographs on a computer they can look at anytime rather than on an internet connected site/server/disk? Probably. Are we still in an age where largely it is large businesses that can afford the fast pipes that give thin client performance to the cloud a reasonable experience. Possibly. Is the cloud going to be more important for everyone in the next decade and beyond? Definitely!