I know I’m preaching to the choir. You’re not reading this because you want to understand what [The Cloud] is, it’s because you want to be amused. But hear me out and think about your own experience when you are explaining the foundational ideas of email or Amazon.
You know who I’m talking about and it’s not just our moms. Complex technical concepts do not suddenly become more relatable when we compare them to things we can see but can’t touch or ideas that have a presence but can not be controlled. That’s just the wrong direction.
The Cloud absolutely conveys the notion that it’s somewhere out there – not on site. The Cloud represents greatness and expanse. When you are talking about web-based tools and Cloud Services why not the analogy of [Air]? So we agree it’s many things to many people – but can you appreciate why the cloud analogy just doesn’t help a beginner?
Talking about the cloud to the uninitiated is kind of like talking about sex to a teenager. Sure they’ve heard some things, and they may have some ideas, but there’s a complete lack of practical experience. It’s tricky to put all the pieces together.
I submit a term that makes a lot more sense and dispels bewilderment. And this sounds a bit boastful, but I have a feeling this will be the blog post that goes down as the work that changed how we refer to The Cloud.
Instead of The Cloud let’s talk about what it is; distributed networks, platforms, and interconnected services. And let’s call it – The Internet.
Were you hoping for something more groundbreaking or original? Hear me out. The Internet is the network of networks. It’s the whole universe of connected systems. It’s the pipe. It’s the road. It’s the highway. It’s where you go, it’s what you access. It’s so many things that we have already tried to separate into The Cloud.
Consider other channels of point-to-point distribution. When you get electricity for your home it’s just called electricity. We don’t refer to it as wind, hydro, or coal power. I mean, we might, but we rarely do. The power is simply on or off. Same with gas and water. We don’t mention The Lake, or The Deposit as part of our utility service – because it doesn’t matter.
Honestly, I’m fine with The Internet and The Cloud. I know you and I get it. But when you want someone else to get it – less is more.
The next time you are trying to explain Cloud Services to your manager, your purchasing agent, your leadership team, or your mom – focus on what you get. Focus on the what instead of the where. And be patient. It will eventually make sense. It did for us.