I’ve been talking about it for years – and what’s more other people have talked to me about it.
“The day will come when everything we use will be “out there” not on your hard drive. Data, applications, personal stuff all accessible from anywhere – anywhere with a connection that is.”
The iPhone – recently acquired with 3G connectivity – stores very little data. Ok it’s an iPod too and there’s 16Gb potential for tunes and movies – but the connectivity brings trillions of gigabytes to that small 640 px wide screen.
Recently The Telegraph announced that it is moving it’s Office into The Cloud. Out goes Microsoft – come in Google.
Webmail has held our email in The Cloud for years but it wasn’t until GMail came along that we started to exploit it’s potential. My photos are mainly in the Flickr cloud. Last FM plays me a music cloud. Apple’s new MobileMe as a new symbol – a cloud.
The Cloud lets you to connect from anywhere – create and modify from anywhere – it’s platform neutral – hard drive irrelevant – geographically agnostic. Bandwidth is the key. 3G is critical, fibre optic essential to the future – the infrastructure is everything.
“All my data is backed up by Mozy somewhere in the US”, I tell people who ask about backups. I could look up the business address of Mozy but it doesn’t really tell me where my data is. It’s at the end of a big pipe with an IP address. In turn that may be, and probably is, redirected to storage space all over the place. It’s not a matter of where is it but “Is it safe?” and “Can I get it back?”.
So I have 6Gb on Googlemail, Unlimited backup space on Mozy, 20Gb on MobileMe, 2 Gb on BT something or another, 2 Gb on Thinkfree, 2Gb on Adobe, Unlimited on Flickr Pro, 2Gb associated to most of my domain names at Zen, and so it goes on. The boys at the The Cloud must be congratulating themselves on the choice of name for their brand of WiFi. The Cloud is where it’s at.
I have a stack of part full back up CDs and DVDs of images and movies. My brother, 12 years younger than me and fitter of mind, stores his images on line, i.e. in The Cloud.
Years ago I tried and failed to convince colleagues at the BBC not to download or print out documents from the server because the only one that was up to date and accurate was the one stored on the intranet. They ignored me. They wanted a hard copy in their drawer just in case the “system went down”. We are slow to trust essential information to other people – and it will be similar with The Cloud. But ask yourself “How successful am I at running my own system?” How often does it “go down?” Was it ever “up”? Or is your personal Cloud more like a mist, unclear, disorientating and so damp you avoid going there with a dismissive, “I’ve got it somewhere” without a clue of actually where.
Time to put your head in The Cloud.