By Art Reisman
Twenty two years ago, all the Buzz amongst the engineers in the AT&T Bell labs offices, was a technology called “thin client”. The term “cloud” had not yet been coined yet, but the seeds had been sowed. We went to our project managment as we always did when we had a good idea, and as usual, being the dinosaurs that they were, they could not even grasp the concept , their brains were three sizes tooo small, and so the idea was tabled.
And then came the Googles, and the Apples of the world, the disrupters. As bell labs reached old age , and wallowed in its death throws, I watched from afar as cloud computing took shape.
Today cloud computing is changing the face of the computer and networking world. From my early 90’s excitement, it took over 10 agonizing years for the first cotyledons to appear above the soil. And even today, 20 years later, cloud computing is in its adolescence, the plants are essentially teenagers.
Historians probably won’t even take note of those 10 lost years. It will be footnoted as if that transition time was instantaneous. For those of us who waited in anticipation during that incubation period , the time was real, it lasted over 1/4 of our professional working lives.
Today, cloud computing is having a ripple effect on other technologies that were once assumed sacred. For example, customer premise networks and all the associated hardware are getting flushed down the toilet. Businesses are simplifying their on premise networks and will continue to do so. This is not good news for Cisco, or the desktop PC manufactures , chip makers and on down the line.
What to expect 20 years from now. Okay here goes, I predict that the “personal” computing devices that we know and love, might fall into decline in the next 25 years. Say goodbye to “your” IPAD or “your” iPhone.
That’s not to say you won’t have a device at your disposal for personal use, but it will only be tied to you for the time period for which you are using it. You walk into the store , along with the shopping carts there are stack of computing devices, you pick one up , touch your thumb to it, and instantly it has all your data.
Imagine if personal computing devices were so ubiquitous in society that you did not have to own one. How freeing would that be ? You would not have to worry about forgetting it, or taking it through security . Where ever happened to be , in a hotel, library, you could just grab one of the many complimentary devices stacked at the door, touch your thumb to the screen , and you are ready to go, e-mail, pictures , games all your personal settings ready to go.
Yes you would pay for the content and the services , through the nose most likely, but the hardware would be an irrelevant commodity.
Still skeptical ? I’ll cover the the economics of how this transition will happen in my next post , stay tuned.