It would be easy to dismiss cloud computing as the latest fad used by technology companies to flog their products. They told us it is ‘revolutionary’, ‘a game changer’ and ‘a paradigm shift’. All the cliches.
We’ve heard those hype-laden clichés over and over again. No wonder we’re not in a hurry to listen.
And yet, the cloud is new and special. This was obvious five or six years ago when personal cloud products and services first appeared.
Now it is mainstream. Microsoft recently underlined this by wrapping its SkyDrive cloud storage service into Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and the latest version of Microsoft Office.
Cloud computing changes work habits
Cloud computing has changed the way we work. Many of us use it every single working day, storing and backing-up work documents on cloud servers.
There are people who barely run any desktop productivity applications anymore. There’s no need. All the important data is available so long as you get a mobile data connection or a wi-fi signal.
There are risks. Cloud services can, and do, go offline. Lock-in is real.
It may pay to make local copies of important documents that will survive if something should happen to your cloud service provider, if you decide to stop paying the subscription or if you find a better alternative elsewhere.
Cloud requires new ways of thinking.
Ben Kepes' post, Cloud isn’t just a gimmick is a good, brief, more technical exploration of this. He says cloud is more than an evolution of what has gone before and explains that cloud computing combines technology, business and delivery mechanisms, important points that cloud vendors often overlook.