When Everyone Has a Cloud
The idea of the cloud has triumphed across the industry. Every major vendor has a cloud strategy. Data centers are going up as fast as fiber lines were buried back in the 1990s. Despite a gradual falling to Earth among vendors like Red Hat(RHT) and VMWare(VMW) , caused by growing competition, this remains a boom time for cloud.
However few have stopped to consider the implications. What does it mean for business when everyone has a cloud?
- You need fewer local resources. Storage is no longer done locally and most database processing is off-loaded as well.
- Big jobs are done fast. Back in the late 20th century there was a project called Seti @ Home, which offered users screen-savers behind which their CPUs analyzed data sets from radio telescopes. That was "distributed computing," a standard feature of the cloud.
- Computing can become ubiquitous. Chip companies seeking new markets will now put networked intelligence into everything you buy.
- Orwellian fears will grow. Having networked intelligence everywhere leads some to demand absolute security and others absolute privacy, a false choice that becomes increasingly political over time.
These are the obvious choices, but what are the investment choices?
- Our local computing environment becomes more Apple(AAPL) -like, more tied to devices, less wired.
- Facebook(FB) and Google(GOOG) are both services. Services become more central than products such as those from Microsoft(MSFT) .
- Density will grow. As our world becomes more virtual our desire for human contact will increase. Cities gain over suburbs. The development model becomes the university campus, not the skyscraper village. As services like Amazon.com(AMZN) make shopping and consuming more virtual, this becomes more obvious.
- Change will accelerate. Breakthroughs happen even faster. Problems that once seemed intractable, like energy, suddenly become soluble.