The Facebook generation will accelerate cloud growth

I’m going to claim that back in the mid-sixties The Who made a really insightful prediction of the nature of technology adoption in the early twentieth century. A lot of it is about my generation; or your generation …

The concept of cloud computing has been around for a while and it offers customers IT as a utility. You can buy IT (specifically applications) to help run your business, as a utility, just the same way that you can by electricity and water.

It’s simple, convenient, and in the long term, cheaper. So why isn’t everyone doing it? Why aren’t we shutting down our data-centres and moving our applications and data into clouds?

Well, there may be some sound financial reasons that mean it takes a while to write off assets, terminate leases etc., but the idea cloud (or utility) computing has been buzzing around the industry for a few years now and yet the world hasn’t been darkened by a sky full of clouds.

The technology is mature, secure and functional. It works – providers can build safe, capable and fast cloud services – but I still see a lot of blue sky (thinking).

So, what do these questions have to do with The Who and My Generation? For me, technology adoption is also a generational thing. IT leaders are just people after all and people become comfortable with the familiar, traditional way of doing things. It’s true of anything in life, and it’s very true in IT.

Just look at how tape is still used for backup. Cloud computing is new and different, and for a lot of people, that is enough to slow down its adoption. People want to tread carefully when they are going somewhere unfamiliar.

But what about the Facebook generation? People who live their lives online – people who do their banking, socialising, dating, buying, selling – pretty much everything online.

When they become the leaders, the influencers, the decision makers in the industry, I predict there will be a massive increase in acceleration towards the cloud. It will become the obvious way to buy IT because it will be the obvious way to buy everything else.

Jeremy Wallis is the Systems Engineering Director for NetApp UK. In this role, Jeremy is responsible for the co-ordination of all the pre-sales technology teams in the UK, covering both the company’s channel accounts and it’s direct customers. With over 25 years experience in the IT sector in roles that span the entire sales process from pre-sales to post-sales, Jeremy provides strategic support and insights to the systems engineering team, NetApp’s partners and its customers. Since joining Netapp in 2004 as a Systems Engineer, Jeremy has progressed rapidly through the company to the Systems Engineering Director role he currently holds.