That used to be pejorative; a way to describe an unrepentant dreamer with no practical ability or interest. Today, it might be good cause to pay $2-3K/day to that same person, who may in fact yet be an unrepentant dreamer. A sign of the times.
I have my head in the clouds–from time to time in both of the described ways. While being fully consigned to the value and inevitability of cloud computing, with good and reasonable (reasoned) cause for believing in it, even I have to admit it’s really a “movement” benefiting from good marketing or spin. It’s not new, but perhaps only a concept whose time has come. That’s the part that concerns me a bit, having followed the idea for the past decade or two in its various guises.
It’s good that cloud computing’s time has come (I hope). It’s less good that there are so many false prophets. As inevitable as worms popping out of the ground and drowning on the sidewalk in a downpour, this latest great idea has drawn out a growing number of men and women–and their organizations–who are using the name, the idea, and the fashion to appropriate a vast and oversold notion to every sort of incidental and ancillary service or other offering. Of this it’s important to be vigilant in every such instance, like a long bull market, real estate bubble, or miracle drug.
For me and others, what it means as well is carrying around the uninspiring character of simple value. Whatever it’s name or description–distributed or grid, “the network is the computer,” etc.–the concept is relatively simple and old, and… well… bland. It’s not that sexy. It just doesn’t sizzle in and of itself. But it’s a strong proposition and it drives much needed power for businesses and governments–to do what they’re supposed to do instead of being second-rate IT shops.
All I hope is that those coming to this party late and getting in on the wonders of cloud pull their heads out of the fog and make sure they’re not overlooking the steak for all the sizzle out there.