Evolution of the Cloud, Part 2 – The Present

Cloud computing conceptThis is part two of a three-part series discussing the evolution of the cloud. The cloud is a continual and rapid evolution —by the time you have read this, the cloud has likely changed yet again. Today “the cloud” is a household name. My mother even knows the word, even if she doesn’t know what it is.

I hear more references to the cloud in everyday life than ever before, both in business and at home. What is interesting is that many people have accepted and adopted the cloud without knowing what it is and just accept the confusion around it.

It seems every company out there has to have some product or service with “cloud” attached to it. From your music being “streamed from the cloud” to smart wireless thermostats for your home that send information to the cloud, it’s everywhere. We can now even wear tiny bracelets that track our every step and magically send that information to the cloud so we can see how healthy we are at any time from any place.

There seems to be an inherent trust in the cloud when it comes to personal use. Consumers accept it, use it and expand their use of it almost daily — every time they snap another picture and share it simultaneously on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Heck, even refrigerators now use the cloud to send you recipes.

Face It: We Are Becoming Our Parents

Using our generational gaps from part 1 of this series, we can see how each generation interacts with the cloud today in unique ways –

Baby Boomers – Forced Resistant Acceptors

Gen X child to Baby Boomer mom: “If you want to see a picture of your grandkid you must get on Facebook!”

Gen X – Excited Frustrated Adopters

Gen X child to Gen Y dad: “Daaad! You didn’t miss the last episode of Game of Thrones… you can stream it from HBOGo or Netflix. Duh!”

Gen Y – Entitled Innovative Natives

Gen Y to Gen Y: “Dude! I just posted the most legit video from my GoPro!”

Each generation has their technological comfort zone, too…

  • Baby Boomers: Have a home phone, watch cable TV, and listen to music on CDs
  • Gen Xers: Have a home phone and cell phone, watch cable TV and stream shows/movies from Netflix, and listen to music on CDs, iPods and by streaming Pandora
  • Gen Yers: Have a cell phone, stream entertainment from Netflix, Apple TV, Hulu, Google TV, YouTube and Roku, and listen to live streaming music from Pandora, iTunesRadio, SoundHound and iHeartRadio

The point is, in the present world we have three generations converged using the cloud in the same yet different ways.

Business Reflects Life (Or Does Life Reflect Business?)

The generation gap exists in business too. Large organizations have adopted and are using the cloud in the same, yet different ways versus small to medium businesses (SMBs).

Since our services at Fluid focus on SMBs, we are very familiar with their present cloud tendencies. All have heard of it, many have accepted that it might be a good thing for their business and some have fully embraced it and use it solely.

I believe this has everything to do with just who is running those small and medium businesses.  Venture a guess? Yes! It is primarily Baby Boomers and Gen Xers at the helm of all these companies making the decision on what to do with the cloud. It should be no surprise that their personal opinions and preferences regarding the cloud bleed into their business decisions.

Today, the cloud for business is seen both as a forced and frustrating phenomenon with just enough excitement and promise to continue to grow in adoption and use.

So what on earth does that mean for the future? Find out in Part 3: The Future of the Cloud.