I don’t know if most people do this or not, but I always kind of try to do a daily check of whether I have become ‘this old guy.” (I suppose if you are a woman, it is much less likely that you ask yourself that question.) As in, “This old guy thinks Twitter is stupid,” or “This old guy doesn’t want to move all his clients’ data to the cloud,” or “This old guy smells.” I know from experience that things like Twitter, FaceBook and the cloud are scary to most adults over the age of 40, and I don’t want to belong to that group. However, I am completely unwilling to embrace them, because I grew up in the 80s and embraced things like rolled pant legs and boat shoes with no socks, and that didn’t make those things any less stupid. I fully understand what people are doing with the new technologies and apps and what have you, I just think that some of them need to be lumped in the same bin as the boat shoes. The technologies and apps I mean, not the people. I seldom put actual people into bins of any sort.
So, for the cloud, I have a harder time defining the line between my general crotchitiness and my genuine distrust of things. I can see many benefits to storing things in and running applications from the cloud, but I can also see some issues, just like everybody else. But what really bugs me is that no one really understands what the cloud is. Smart people. People I like. One of the companies I work for is considering starting to store some documents with a database provider they use. (They are starting to consider this WITHOUT EVEN INVOLVING I.T., which might be my bigger issue) I brought up the fact that, deciding to send files outside the front door might mean having to get and pay for a bigger door. And people did not know why. That is kind of when it occurred to me that many people don’t understand where the cloud is. Everyone understands that the Internet is outside the door, and the cloud is really just the internet (as far as most people would be concerned) at this point, but people apparently don’t get that.
So, I have decide to channel my ire at the people who coined the term “the cloud” or “cloud computing.” I’m looking at you, M.I.T. nerds… or some guys in a business park in Houston… or Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Well, whoever did it, thanks a lot. You’ve confused most of the people I work with.