When computers were first invented, history dictates that there were some, perhaps many, who scoffed and refused to accept that they would change our lives in the incalculable ways that they have.
When the internet came out, many could not understand why they would want to connect other computers to their own or the purpose of such a tool.
The reasons for such rejection and speculation of technological advancements are many, including but-not-limited-to: lack of detail, misinformation, contentment in already-working systems, and fear of the unknown. While I do not believe fear to be as culpable a reason when it comes to computer technology as compared to, say, nuclear technology or what your five-year-old cooked you for breakfast, I do believe the three former reasons to be legitimate.
The first two reasons, lack of detail and misinformation, are directly related. Although the name “the cloud” is fitting, it can also downplay the fact that the cloud is a real and working system, albeit a very large and multi-faceted one. Microsoft’s commercials that present a problem, then a savvy cloud user announcing “To the cloud,” then their problem solved by the cloud, show glimpses of what the cloud is capable of that could make it appealing to an everyday user, like remote desktop access and video conferencing.
These commercials show the most basic examples of cloud computing, but do not really explain what the cloud is or how to jump onboard. In addition, Microsoft must be careful not to make it appear that the cloud is a Microsoft invention but, rather, that they are one of many companies that is making use of the cloud. It may encourage utilization of the cloud by making known to more people that the cloud is not one company’s brainchild, but rather a fruit of the digital and internet age that all of us, users and developers, have helped bring about.
Regarding the contentment in already-working systems, the cloud is merely a way of connecting all of those systems and streamlining availability, scalability and synergy, which are useful both at home and in the workplace. The cloud possesses currently incomprehensible potential to shape how we handle information and, thus, our businesses and our lives.
Like so many leaps forward, it will take some time for people to understand what the cloud is and how useful it can be, and how much smaller it is making the world, by putting in reach what we need, thanks to digitalization and the vast interconnectedness and availability of the internet. The important hope we have as the cloud moves forward is that it remains as open as it is today and that no company attempts to build legal or digital fences around what they believe to be their property within the cloud.