An Invite to Cloud Computing

IT industry professionals are now receiving invites to cloud computing related events and services on a daily basis.  But how good is the take up? ‘Technology merely opens a door; it does not compel one to enter’, the words of Lynn White Jr. (1907 – 1987), a researcher into the technological innovation of the Middle Ages.

Although White’s research was focused on the Middle Ages, it is a concept that still rings true even today.  There have been many technological developments in recent years, but the public have not always accepted every new innovation.  The CD (Compact Disc) took off, but the MiniDisc did not.  HD television is now widely available, 3D television not so popular.  The internet is global and still maturing in its development.  But it is still early days for cloud computing, the door has just opened.

Kranzberg, the man behind the six laws of technology, made some good observations to push this idea further arguing that ‘an open door is an invitation’.   New technologies are not just open doors that society breezes past with a glance – they are invitations to venture inside.

Kranzberg argues: ‘Who decides which doors to open-and, once one has entered the door, are not one’s future directions guided by the contours of the corridor or chamber into which one has stepped? Equally important, once one has crossed the threshold, can one turn back?

The world receives the invitation, considers the offer, may peek through the door and then chooses whether it wishes to stay.  A successful innovation will have a full house of users, in addition to gatecrashers (Spammers, Phishers and Fraudsters).  The Minidisc however, is an excellent example of the world crossing the threshold into a new innovation and then turning back to take up the more popular mp3.

Knowing the history of technology, what would this theory indicate for cloud computing?  The invitation has been received, the door has been opened and the world is stepping over the threshold to take a peek.  The question is – will the world stay for cloud computing or will it turn back?


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