Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cloud has Stolen the Thunder finally - Has it? : Part-3

CLOUD has Stolen the Thunder finally -  Has it? (Part-3)

Part-1 here
Part-2 here

We shall now check our 2nd point, i.e. Is it that this time marketing crescendo is unprecedented, after all this word ‘cloud’ is  more pleasing in lexicon per se.  

If we look back in the history of computing, one can easily deduce that the concept of cloud is not new. Even during 50's and 60's when first mainframe was erected, scientists looked into the possibility of "Access to centralized resources, data and services". The idea could not reach mainstream due to two major obstacles:

  1. Incompatibility with other systems (in techy term we call it Interoperability issues)
  2. Lack of distribution mechanism 

90's and 21st century witnessed two major innovations - Parallel computing (i.e. sharing) and Internet. Together they were able to break the barrier; it allowed this concept of sharing to spread all the way to end users. 

About the metaphor CLOUD. The history of technology is always like this. First, a concept gets formulated. With time, newer innovations join the fray, helping the original concept to evolve. Eventually someone sees that this concept can be packaged as a product and be sold. 

The 'product' must have a Name, Life-cycle, Economic value, perceived Benefit and most importantly the product must find a User. 
In this context, I do not know who first coined the word 'Cloud'. To the best of my knowledge Gartner gave major push to Cloud and helped in spreading the benefit of this product (still doing). Whether a product will be successful or not, can be checked by measuring the difference between 'Perceived benefit' and the 'Economic value'. Higher the difference, greater are the chances of failure of this product. Marketing push has major role in creating the difference.  

In this part of the blog I raised the issue of marketing (the Cloud). Marketing is about raising the value of 'perceived benefit'. On the other hand, till date we are not fully sure of right 'economic value' of Cloud. 
In my view ROI (and TCO) will vary widely depending on the type of end user we are talking about. Therefore I am neutral to the second argument. I shall prefer to follow wait and watch rule in this case.

We shall look into our 3rd argument, battered world economy in the next blog.  

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