I’m speaking this afternoon on a panel talking about Cloud computing in the context of marketing at an event being run by the agency TH_NK. It feels a bit like going back in time…

(Sadly there isn’t an HTML tag to invoke swirling harp sounds, so imagine a bit of a Florence and a Machine song here)

My recent professional speaking career began in talking about Cloud computing, all of about four years ago. My first experience of Cloud computing in it’s current guise was when a business at Reuters decided to move to SalesForce. The first example of “Cloud” computing in reality (defining Cloud as being a multiple-customer service delivered over the Internet) came when I was involved in a project to move the over to Venda in about 2000.

(Cue harp music… back to today…)

So where are we today in terms of Cloud? Well, from many perspectives it has become ubiquitous. Tried using your phone/tablet/laptop recently without an Internet connection? It’s fairly useless…

Setting up a new online venture? I bet you’re not going to be starting off by buying lots of servers.

Setting up a new business? I doubt that servers will factor as part of your new offices.

The Enterprise IT world is lagging slightly behind, particularly in terms of the “public” Cloud (ie delivered over the Internet from shared hosting facilities), but even there we are seeing significant movement.

Overall it strikes me that the term Cloud is in the descendant, and that means one of two things; either that it’s failed (objectively not the case) or it’s becoming the norm (my view). When technologies become truly adopted we no longer talk about them: when was the last time you heard someone talk about electric motors or microprocessors or, thinking about it, computers?

It’s only once we get over the tech hype that we really start to see how a technology can be applied to achieve things – focus turns to the application and its outcome rather than the technology and it’s shininess. To a marketer (at least to a marketer who doesn’t market technology products and services) Cloud shouldn’t be relevant other than to understand if someone is selling them snake oil (ditto “big data”, “Internet of Things”, “Wearable Computing”, “Social”, “Apps”) – what’s important is what are they trying to do, and what might help them to do it.

3 thoughts on “Clear skies

    1. In my last role I moved the organisation to Cloud-based collaboration tools for email and so on with Google Docs. The CFO had some concerns about the extent to which we could trust a third party with such services.

      I could have gone down a technical explanation (email already reliant on third parties, risks of maintaining our own infrastructure, etc)… but in the end used the example of how we were already trusting our *actual money* to a cloud (private, admittedly, but a cloud nonetheless) provided by our bankers. And that our bankers happened to be RBS. And we trusted *them* to look after all of our money in mere bits and bytes, but we weren’t prepared to trust our *email* with a third party??

      That won him over…

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