House on the Cloud?

I work in IT.  I know a a few things about computers.  So when someone mentions the word 'cloud' I generally know what they're talking about.  And generally glaze over when they start talking about 'the future', or 'amazon', or they're working on a 'cloud infrastructure'.  So what?  Big deal.  Will it improve the business or end user experience?

In the short term probably not.  Most organizations will have a cloud project of some sort.  Even if that project is to simply find out what the cloud project should be.  That's fair enough.
The technology, process, security and personnel of cloud are *relatively* new in comparison to stuff like server-client computing or thin-client infrastructures.  However the more subtle uses of cloud like services have started to appear in my home.  And that I am all for.

Take television for example.  I last year I upgraded my satellite kit to include a disk based recording system.  So now I can record and watch TV at the time I want to watch it.  Nothing majorly new there.  However, the service also allows me to watch series and movies 'anytime' I like with the media either streamed or downloaded locally to my disk based recording system.  I now no longer need to buy a DVD box set.  I don't even need to 'own' anything, I just pay for the service and enjoyment of watching The Sopranos season 1 from the beginning, as delivered through the satellite and broadband infrastructure of my TV provider.

Are you in the clouds?


I also recently upgraded my mobile - yes I know it seems like I lived in the dark ages, but I was waiting for you guys to rid me of the bugs with your first mover advantage - to a more capable smart phone.
I instantly downloaded the Kindle for Android app - a combination I may add that couldn't be more perfect if they tried.  Within minutes I had access to copyright free (and thus cost free...) classics such as The Origin of The Species, The Wealth of Nations, The Communist Manifesto and The Life of Buddha.  All 4 will no doubt be great reads, but I would never have bought the hard copies mainly due to cost, space and the time it takes to read (everyone knows reading on a Kindle book via a smart phone takes only 1/100th of the time to read a 'real' book.  The 99th saving coming mainly from coolness....).  So now, my phone or the service I'm actually subscribed to, contains all my reading material, bookmarked, organized and ready for use 24 x 7 without me having to actually physically own anything.

The same principles can also be applied to music which was probably first on this band wagon from an entertainment perspective, with the likes of last.fm allowing you to create your online radio station.  The end result is you listen to music, without owning the disk or MP3.

This increased 'as-a-service' approach, will soon start to cover other elements of our non-work life as long as the end product isn't altered or degraded.  Most people want good service at a better price and this virtual out sourcing approach certainly fits the bill for the time being.  Our homes could become objectless states of service delivery and all we have to do is cough up the cash for the pleasure.

So in a changing world, spending cash will be one thing that stays the same.