Cloud Computing in 2020: More security, directory, identity, privacy, storage, computing

To put it simply, let’s just say More for less.

Caution: Take a deep breath before you proceed. And it’s ok to get scared or excited after a look at these figures.

Year 2020: The digital universe would be run by something like 40 trillion gigabytes of data. That’s what we could be creating, consuming and managing.

Now, figure out the math. Do we have the skills, experience and resources needed to manage all these data all the time through all networks and info-gateways? Nope. The resources we have will get less and lesser, even as they get more and more specialized. This is the scary part of the algorithm facing us.

Let’s cut to the chase and once and for all end the debate on cloud computing. The only way out is to have new, flexible and scalable IT infrastructure that extends beyond the enterprise, viz. cc.

Need any more data points to consider? An estimated 40% of all information in the digital universe will be “touched” by cloud computing in some way or the other, and probably 15% maintained in a cloud.

2020 will see not one cloud, but many clouds, and a migration to converged infrastructures, where servers, storage and networks are integrated together, and installed as a unit of IT infrastructure.

The three tipping points to plug in and play for cloud computing are safety, storage and ease of retrieval.

The corporate is easily convinced, whereas the consumer is a tough nut to crack. But the cloud has gained enough mass and momentum to be the new age choice for both the corporate and the consumer. The new Google Chromebook Pixel, says technology wizard Phaneesh Murthy, is “a truly groundbreaking new device” and “a potential game-changer for cloud-based computing” for both corporate IT as well as in personal computing.

Powered by the cloud, cutting edge and game-changing computing trends are already blowing in the wind. Just like how laptops felled the desktops and smart phones replaced the uni-dimensional traditional mobile phones, light-weight tablets and lean and mean personal computers are leveraging the best of cloud technology to take over the computing world.

Why carry stuff in stuff like pen drives and EHDs when you can access any data from anywhere? That’s the simple idea behind the cloud which is making our life simpler, more fulfilling and engaging.

It may sound funny but it’s hard to resist taking a jab: A little bit of “clouded thinking” can work wonders. It can level the playing field for little David against the Goliath, the giant. A small company, with a little bit of “clouded thinking” can fell Goliath who thinks “traditional”. A big traditional company may take pride in stocking up on computer hardware. But David cuts down on its IT costs, using the cloud by which it pays only for what it wants to use. And before you can understand why what happened, Goliath is history and David is the new big future.

Strip cloud computing off the clutter and the jargon, and what do you have? It’s the new big idea that’s drawing in ooh’s and aah’s from the IT community at the industry box office. Essentially, cloud computing is a pure play on the theme of utility computing, or software as a service (SaaS).

Computing will move to the cloud in newer and bigger ways, and more and more companies, large and small, are betting their new money on the “mainframes in the sky”, if not already.

With the sky opening out to the cloud, the sky is the limit for computing and for consumer experience. Computing is now served up as sauce if you please, over the internet and from vast warehouses of shared machines. Many companies are rapidly moving their applications into the cloud.

Web 2.0 offerings like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon’s raw computing power, Microsoft’s Azure and Google’s App Engine,, Goople Apps, set the ball rolling for utility computing enabled by the cloud. At Microsoft, millions of customers including top brands like Coca Cola, McDonalds and GlaxoSmithKline, have signed up for using the cloud.

Oracle’s Larry Ellison who once dismissed cloud computing as “water vapour, nonsense, just a computer connected to a network” and “something we have done for more than ten years” must be wondering how he got the Oracle wrong. But big guns don’t always hit the target. Bill Gates was equally dismissive of mobile phones and look what happened.

The rules of engagement have changed. Yesterday software as a service delivered in the form of email, shared photographs, documents, was a beautifully disruptive idea. Today, moving away from “pure software” is the disruptive beast. And we better hurry. For 2020 is just a “few clouds” away…