This is the third post (and hopefully the last) of my opinions about the cloud (the other two posts were “Hosted services with a vengeance” and “Redefining the whole networking paradigm”). By now you must be reeeeeeeeeally tired reading from me about how I think that the cloud is so precious, but if you could just bear with me again, I would be grateful.
And by now you might remember that I am big fan of the cloud. In my previous two posts I might have been a liiiiiiiitle subjective about the cloud, so now I will try to be objective.
(Hey, this repeating letter thing is great, you try it!)
OK, here goes:
Let us suppose I decide to make my own bread. Some people will say, “Congratulations, Dimitrios, you are now self-sufficient!” (bread-wise). Others will say, “Are you crazy? Why don’t you buy the bread from the baker and be done with it? You are a Systems Engineer, not a baker!”
The first lot thinks self-sufficiency is always a good thing. But it cannot always be a good thing. To achieve it, you may have to reduce your degree of specialization.
The second lot thinks specialization is always a good thing. But it cannot always be a good thing. To achieve it, you may have to reduce your degree of self-sufficiency.
The first lot will accuse the second lot for jeopardizing their very existence. They think that you are in higher risk if you are not self-sufficient, and that is correct.
The second lot will accuse the first lot for primitivism. They think that you do not advance that much in civilization if you do not specialize, and that is correct.
The first lot does not want the cloud. They think someone will come and take their data, put them in the cloud and then loose that data all together. (Come on!) And the cloud services will not be available when needed, and … so on. But this lot may fail to see the benefits of the cloud.
The second lot wants the cloud. They think that by simply designing their systems and avoiding the implementation details, they will be able to better focus on their business specialization. But this lot may fail to see the dangers of the cloud.
The reality is that no one is forcing you to go to the cloud. You decide how much of the cloud you are going to use and in what way. If you do not want it, fine. If you want some services only, that’s fine also. If you do not want to put data in the cloud, fine again. Again, you decide and no one is forcing you.
Perhaps things will evolve as follows: People will be afraid of the cloud at first. Then they will start using the most benign cloud services. Then they will begin to trust the cloud more. Then the benefits will overcome the fear. People will see that the price for implementing something in the cloud is not prohibiting, whereas the same thing is economically unfeasible on premises. And then people will begin to use the cloud for a lot of projects. And then the cloud will crash, and during the time that is down, people will not do their work.
This is just like what we have with electricity today. We know that without electrical power we cannot work, but we still trust it with everything. The cloud will be no different.
Sure, we have batteries and UPSs. And with the cloud we have offline data and on premises systems and backups. But still the electric grid has to be there. And sometimes it is not. The cloud will be a utility service just like that. A utility service is generally a good and useful thing. Utility services are not “always on”, but people do not try to cast them aside.
Then why should people try to cast the cloud aside? Perhaps it is just because the cloud is the new kid (I mean utility service) on the block, and people are afraid of new things.
Let’s not call the whole thing off because of this.