Moses Created Cloud Computing (no not Jobs!)

Moses created Cloud Computing, not Jobs

At what point did this thing called “cloud computing” come to life? Was it when the marketing folks got together and decreed that what was needed was to resurrect 1960’s era leased computing under a new name. Was it when Jeff Bezos woke up one day and said “holy cow, we need a cloud”?* Or did Al Gore have something to do with it?

Personally, to me, cloud computing was the day Moses (the internet) brought down from the mountain (ubiquitous wireless and mobile access or the cloud) the tablets (iphone/ipad/ aka I gotta have one). It’s that precise point in time when three factors reached critical mass: the internet, wireless access and a device that showed us mere mortals where we could take our computing – namely everywhere. I’m sure I heard someone say “holy cow” on that day June 27, 2007 – the day Apple iPhones went on sale.

That was less than three years ago and here are the steps I see this revolution taking:

1. Baby is born – June 27th, 2007

Internet + Mobility + Killer device

OK, we have the Internet. We have mobility. We have a two killer devices now (the iPad and the iPhone) – Apple is in this camp – but we’ll need more. And yes, Google, I know you’re trying, but try harder.

2. Mommy and Daddy learn to walk

Big corporate IT spenders move to the cloud to save money. Storage is the first hot thing, followed by infrastructure (i.e. servers). This is what is happening now. It’s propelling the ability of us mere mortals to talk to our jobs and to connect us to our paychecks. The more this happens the more baby learns to walk.

3. Baby learns to walk

We’re seeing this already but the pieces aren’t in place yet. We need more infrastructure, more cloud, more corporate IT moving to a cyber existence. In particular, we need our applications and all our files on the cloud. When this happens, we – you, I, your neighbor across the world – we all become hyper-connected. We will be in an age of frictionless music, video and information (I said frictionless, not free). There will be over 6 billion people talking to each other. Will this be the new age of enlightenment? Will this in fact be what Moses (the Internet) was bringing to us?

It will all happen very quickly. Heck, how old is the internet? July 25, 1995 – that’s the day Netscape (the first really popular web browser company) went public. That’s ground zero, the day the world heard the bang. That’s only 15 years ago. And, June 27th, 2007 is just short of three years ago. Holy cow indeed!

So chime in. When do you think cloud computing started? What caused the tipping point? But most of all: what are the main forces at work? If we can envision those forces, we can envision the next Facebook, Netscape, or Google. Let’s invent the future together!

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Comment »

  • Will Perez says:

    To answer the question of when cloud computing started, we need to compare other revolutionary type inventions or movements. I’ll use a simple one that is very well known like the invention of the light bulb. There were many scientist contributing to the new domain of electricity and magnetism. Many were trying to discover the principles behind the science and describe it mathematically, while others were trying to figure out how it can benefit the masses such as Edison (And of course get rich while at it). I see similar patterns in cloud computing from service oriented architectures like open standard web services to server virtualization. Each trying to solve a different problem such as interconnectivity or scalability. What cloud computing provides is a simple avenue to store and access information. Information is the Gold of our time. What was limiting in the past such as storing your information in some server or home system is now available through understandable interfaces that the masses can use to make their lives better or easier to manage. I still think its premature to assume that businesses can benefit from the cloud as easily as consumers. There are more moving parts and constraints that need to be addressed or else it will become a web of unmanaged mess that will hurt businesses that aren’t strategic. We’ve seen similar issues when client-server architectures were first introduced and everyone wanted to start building siloed apps that were difficult to manage. I believe that cloud computing will be as transformational as the printing press where people are no longer constrained by social or technological limitations.