You’d have thought we’d be past this – still discussing definitions of something that (some of us) have been talking about for years. But the fact is that Cloud Computing is still nascent and the vast majority of the real world (read – the users we’d actually like to be adopting cloud) still don’t have a good understanding of what cloud really is.

It was for that reason that I conceived of CloudU, a year-long educational series that aims to skill primarily SMBs on what cloud computing is and how to use it. We’re having some great discussions with business people and I’m proud that, in some small way, there are a bunch more people out there who can explain to their friends at the pub “what this cloud thing is”.

In a similar vain of cutting through the marketing speak, awhile ago I asked a simple question on focus.com – that respondents provide their own simple explanation of what the cloud is. The answers everyone came up with may (for this week anyway) be the definitive guide to explaining the cloud. As the introduction to the document says;

Cloud computing… can mitigate many business pain points across a broad variety of industries. Unfortunately, technology advances at such a rapid speed that it’s often hard to explain the concept and business value to non-tech-savvy professionals. Investments in cloud computing have been critical to driving many businesses’ success, and there’s no better time for professionals to understand the risks and benefits. As Focus Expert Steven Romero says, “If the business is to have any chance of determining when investments in cloud computing are right for their enterprise, they need to understand what [cloud] computing is… the days of excusing themselves from the conversation because it is “technical” should be long gone.”

Feel free to have a read of the final document – and let us know what parts are useful, and which you vehemently disagree with.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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