Has Cloud Computing evaporated? Most of the country has been getting a lot of rain this year–some towns are almost completely underwater. I suspect there is some correlation to the hype of this Cloud Computing fantasy. You know the fairytale about Cloud Computing, that bedtime story where data and applications prance around in the clouds, jumping over rainbows as they play with unicorns, sprinkling fairy dust everywhere as they sing and dance. Ah, life is good in the clouds.
Problem is, I need to get work done today, with real applications and without lag.
As everyone knows, Cloud Computing is supposed to be the solution to all of our computing woes. You no longer have to fuss with upgrading your computer, and there’s no hassle of calling the IT guy in on a Sunday when you know he’s off playing Halo somewhere and won’t answer the phone, anyway. Cloud Computing promised us we’d only have to push the Internet button to open the floodgates of infinite bandwidth, allowing productivity to cascade over our fingers like angel kisses.
Let’s face it, Cloud Computing is here partly because of the economy. As more and more companies restructure their resources, they turn to the Cloud with promises of a cheaper, managed solution–a solution with an infrastructure they need not worry about. Sounds plausible, right? We currently use Cloud Computing in Email, and services like Dropbox and Amazons S3 help you store and backup data to a place somewhere over the rainbow. How far is the jump from Email to one hundred percent online computing? Pretty far, unless people can conform to a new way of thinking about hardware and software.
Microsoft is doing a lot of great things with Windows Live and we all know Google started this frenzy with the introduction of Google Docs a few years ago. But it’s simply not good enough for the masses. For example, when I ask people about Cloud Computing, the response I often get is something like
“Well, it kinda looks like Excel.”
“How do I get it from here down to to my computer?”
And when I ask them where Cloud Computing is, they almost always point up to the sky, as if it were really up there in the swirling heavens, buzzing and humming away.
There’s no doubt that Cloud Computing will one day cease to be a fairytale and become a place where we can actually be productive without wasting time trying to figure out how to make an intangible service fit into our tangible lives. There’s no switch to turn it on; there’s no cable to plug it in to the wall. So what exactly is the missing element and how long will it take before I can play with my unicorn friends?
But seriously, let us know how you use Cloud Computing and where you see it going in the next several years.