The cloud will be the saviour of all mankind if you believe the hype. It will feed the hungry, liberate the poor and satiate our warring bloodlust. The world will be a better place thanks to the cloud.

But how can a simple hosting arrangement, the rewriting of software or a transfer of revenue make such a difference?  In itself it clearly won’t.

Beware – To cloud is to obfuscate, to make or become less clear or transparent.  It has clouded the view.  To cloud is to show an emotion such as worry, sorrow, or anger.  His face clouded over. If we are not careful cloud will become the new snake oil. It will cast out a miasma. It will cloud our judgment and will literally have our heads in the cloud.

We need to get beyond the hype and understand the liberating possibilities that these new and combining technologies offer.  There really is little choice.  The market is heading inexorably this way and in the future we may laugh at how we used to host our own servers in the way we look back fondly at the type-written internal memo.

There will be times when software as a service will be at the forefront very quickly, especially in office productivity and collaboration and there will be times where its take up and adoption ae much slower.  It will be some time, in my view, before there is an effective market in cloud developed social care systems, for example.

As always with change in ICT, it is not the future that is the problem, nor the past but rather the intermingling and confused overlap between the two that we come to know as the present.  This will always be the case.  There will always be something new and shiny glinting on the horizon and there will always be yesterday’s problems that we need to resolve.

This is as it is and always will be.  Let’s not fall for the hype.

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