Taking the long view of cloud

Is "cloud" really going to take off, or is it another apple on the tree of hype, waiting for autumn? So many IT phenomena have been trumpeted to the skies, only to disappear quietly a year or so later. I'm in no doubt. I think it will really take over, becoming the dominant way of accessing and using IT services and applications. And it's not to do with technology, or vendors. It's to do with may daughter (aged 11)........Remember the arrival of UNIX on the scene many years ago? (You have to be of a certain age ;-)). A new generation of students turned up for work who'd actually been exposed to some serious IT at college. And at college - traditionally a bit lefter than society in general and obliged to look for cost-effective options - free UNIX was a natural. So that's what they wanted to use. My daughter is growing up with cloud. She accesses her schoolwork from a shared site over a secure link. She stores her favourites on a special site. She uses phone apps. (If anything, it's the stuff she has to keep on her PC that seems out of kilter: "Dad, why do you spend so much time fixing my PC?". Fair point!) Services delivered where and when she wants them, as economically as possible, are what she takes for granted. And in ten years' time, she'll be starting her career, along with zillions of other 11-year-olds, and she'll take those expectations with her. Come to think of it, the person who's going to take her on may be starting work this autumn, and already has the same mindset. So yes, there are challenges ahead, technical problems to be solved, business models to be transformed, existing investments to be written off, applications to be re-written, but in the end, cloud is, at one level, already here. The acid test: would I ever bother explaining "cloud" to her? No. She'd just say "Dad, that's what I already do. Duh!"
Nicolas Jacquey
Peter Martin


I'm head of enterprise cloud strategy at Orange Business, helping a talented bunch to looking a couple of years out at where we should be aiming. I think we're all only touching the surface of what is to come.
I'm married, with a teenage daughter and a cat. I am, frankly, 'cricket mad', and I love skiing, reading, mountains and a bottle of wine and a good meal with friends.