Whichever way you view it, from IaaS to SaaS, the Cloud is a phenomenon that has almost become a ubiquitous term for Information Technology, or at least the way in which IT is viewed and procured. With both the UK Cloud expo and the UK Cloud Industry Forum hosting their annual award events this month, it’s difficult to remember the last ‘IT’ or ‘Computing’ show or exhibition.
Ten years ago the Cloud was better known as ASP (Application Service Provision); an embryonic concept in which key business applications could be provided over the internet via a monthly subscription (today ASP is just one part of the Cloud Industry – SaaS). Five years ago the Cloud took off (at least from a marketing perspective) to describe an emergent approach to the provision of IT in general.
Today, whilst many are still trying to understand and define the Cloud, many more have just got on with their business – and as has been the way since time began – if there is a more productive and effective away to achieve something, it will inevitably become adopted and the norm.
It would be wrong to say that there are no on-premise, traditional or classic (pick your own adjective) computer systems (hardware and software) on customer’s physical sites anymore. But even where these do exist they are invariably tied into or reliant upon a hosted (Cloud) system somewhere e.g. Backup or DR.
I doubt whether the term ‘IT’ will ever disappear completely - though it’s worth remembering that the computer industry existed a long time before somebody redefined it as ‘Information Technology’. What does seem certain is that the Cloud continues to grow in terms of its over-arching ubiquity – and looks like it is going to be around for a few more years yet.
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