OK – So this is going to be contentious… ah well, I’ve never shied away from that. I wonder if it isn’t in fact time to ease off on the whole “Cloud Computing” term. While this might sound a little heretical, bear with me here…

I’ve been running a bunch of CloudCamps around the place – and a common issue I’ve come up against is being part of sessions where half the crowd are talking high stack level stuff, while the other half is talking infrastructure. It’s easy to see how this occurs – the term “Cloud Computing” covers a huge variety of things – from customer applications, down to the millions of Amazon servers spinning away – along with everything in-between. It’s not surprising there’s sometimes a disconnect between people involved in the cloud.

In the early days of the cloud (hey – a whole few years ago) we needed a term we could hang our hats on – something that was all encompassing and, to a certain extent, something that let us find some commonality in the fight for legitimacy against the legacy vendors and their well articulated, and well funded FUD.

But we’re in a different world now – everyone does cloud, from the most traditional vendor to the smallest startup. Cloud is, to a greater or lesser extent, the default and because of that the term becomes problematic.

This sounds a little funny coming from someone who edits on of the preeminent Cloud blogs, runs Cloud events and attends pretty much every cloud focused event – while I think the term cloud still has legs, I believe its days are numbered. When we’re all doing cloud, and there’s simply nothing else, the term will fade into our collective memories. As Ric Telford from IBM said in his Cloud Connect keynote in San Jose:

in five years time, cloud will be the new normal

Admittedly that was pretty much the only thing that Ric said that wasn’t tainted with what was a recurrent problem at Cloud Connect, CloudWash. It seemed that every traditional vendor was calling their product cloud this or cloud that, whether or not there was anything ever remotely cloud-like about it. As I remarked during one of the vendor pitches sessions:




And don’t believe for a moment it was only IBM that was talking this way – a number of other vendors were taking a similar line: Oracle, HP and Dell to name just a few.

Of course dropping the cloud moniker won’t result in marketing departments all across the globe jumping on the latest theme du jour, but perhaps it’ll lessen the hype. After all the cloud is really to good to be wasted…

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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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