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Posts written by janice

Cloud Summit Executive: Can anyone define cloud computing?

written by Janice Singh
Janice Singh
Topics: Events,Technology

Last week I attended the Cloud Summit Executive at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA, which is a great venue for a computing conference. I went into the conference with only a nebulous idea about cloud computing (pun not intended) and SaaS (Software as a Service), so I was looking forward to getting a clearer idea of what exactly that means.

The chairman of the conference started by saying that he asked 20 people what cloud computing is, and he got 22 different answers. I thought I heard that wrong, but he repeated those numbers later, so I guess some people were either so enthused about cloud computing that they gave two definitions, or they were that confused. In any case, he promised that we’d get a real definition later.

The first speaker showed a scrolling list of companies already “on the cloud.” They went by so fast, but here’s a list of the few I caught: Flickr, Wikipedia, Skype, Gmail, Basecamp, Pandora, digg, and Remember the Milk. It was quite an impressive list which definitely gave the cloud concept more weight. But the speaker still gave a warning about considering the cloud to be the panacea for all enterprises. He reminded us of the time when e-commerce became the big buzzword and people were speculating that soon we wouldn’t have anymore brick and mortar stores, but we see now that wasn’t the case. E-commerce is an important part of business, but it isn’t the only part.

While all this was fascinating, I wasn’t sure I really understood it all since I was still waiting for a definition of cloud computing, but the speaker promised that we’d get it by the end of the day.

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