Sunday, May 1, 2011

Where Will Cloud Computing Take Us?

I am starting this new blog as a medium to share observations, thoughts and opinions about Cloud Computing innovation, research, and strategy. In the recent years I have collaborated with a variety of IT companies, telecoms and governments in the definition of Cloud Computing research programs, strategies, open architectures, and migration plans. I have also participated as speaker in different Cloud Computing events where I have tried to communicate my vision about the data centre as the computer of the future, the IT resources as the next utility, and cloud computing as a source of innovation and competitive advantage. My aim is to share my professional experiences and lessons learned from these collaborations through this blog.

Regarding research in cloud computing, we are still at the beginning of the road, there are still many technology challenges to be researched and adoption barriers to be overcome. Regarding innovation, we are starting to understand the revolutionary impact Cloud Computing could have on the economy and the markets. Cloud computing will play a major role in tomorrow’s world. I like the analogy between the advent of the car a hundred years ago and the increasing importance of cloud computing described by Rolf Harms and Michael Yamartino, head corporate strategists at Microsoft, in their paper The Economics of the Cloud.

"When cars emerged in the early 20th century, they were initially called ―horseless carriages‖. Understandably, people were skeptical at first, and they viewed the invention through the lens of the paradigm that had been dominant for centuries: the horse and carriage. The first cars also looked very similar to the horse and carriage (just without the horse), as engineers initially failed to understand the new possibilities of the new paradigm, such as building for higher speeds, or greater safety. Incredibly, engineers kept designing the whip holder into the early models before realizing that it wasn‘t necessary anymore.

Initially there was a broad failure to fully comprehend the new paradigm. Banks claimed that, ―The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty, a fad. Even the early pioneers of the car didn‘t fully grasp the potential impact their work could have on the world. When Daimler, arguably the inventor of the automobile, attempted to estimate the long-term auto market opportunity, he concluded there could never be more than 1 million cars, because of their high cost and the shortage of capable chauffeurs."

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