Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cloud Computing as a Zero Sum Game

From Governments to the ordinary individual the internet has become central to our personal technological identity. The term "cloud" has become an all encompassing buzz word open to interpretation meaning everything and nothing, meaningful and meaningless.

Recently I have begun to hear a common quote propagate through the tech scene, the quote made famous by Nick Carr focuses on a supposed "big switch" that is occurring within the technology world. Although the quote is being thrown around frequently, one major issue remains -- the perception that cloud computing is an all or nothing option.

The problem with this all or nothing mentality is it places cloud computing as a binary option, where the payoff is absolute or nothing at all. The answer isn't that simple. Like most emerging technologies cloud computing isn't a zero sum game that hinges on the notion that "there must be one winner and one loser, for every gain there is a loss." In reality cloud computing is a nice way to describe an evolutionary step in technology. Simply, the next big thing, not some sort of final solution to an unknown and possibly infinite set of problems.

What is clear to me is that over the last 20 years the internet has become a key piece that binds our modern society together. It has become the information on ramp to a limitless world of opportunities both social and economic. What the cloud has enabled more then anything else is a blank slate, a new beginning, an opportunity to re imagine how we as a global community collaborate, learn and advance. The new reality is the Internet has become a fundamental human right and the cloud is how we enable it.

My random thought on this random day in a random year.

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