Posted by: nickgerlich | February 13, 2008

Partly Cloudy

It’s interesting for me to read student responses to all the changes afoot in marketing, e-commerce, and technology. Just a few days ago I wrote a futurespective for the year 2026. There was a chorus of amens from different regions of my classes, some agreeing with one prognostication, and others agreeing with different forecasts.

CloudsBut the one that continue to either slip under the radar and/or confuse folks the most is my preaching about data clouds. I have written about this before (like last semester’s blogs about Zoho and Carbonite. The former offers free use of online collaborative tools that are compatible with Microsoft Office and other applications (much like Google’s suite of free goodies), while the latter is an online storage site, a virtual hard drive you can access from anywhere.

And if that is not enough, Microsoft Office Live is now available, allowing individuals to have access to the Office suite online, as well as collaborative options for multiple users. The only hitch is that, while the Beta version is free, Microsoft will one day charge for this service. Remember, they aren’t in the advertising like Google is.

Which brings me to my point: The data cloud is only getting bigger. We really will not need computers with massive hard drives in the future, because we will access our software online, and leave our documents there. Whether it is free or we incur an access fee (one-time or annual) is moot. What matters is that all of oru stuff will be floating around “up there” somewhere.

Still not convinced about the thickening clouds? How many of you have a MySpace, Facebook, or YouTube account? Those are all data clouds. Do you use Flickr, Snap, or Slide to host your photo albums? More clouds.

While my prognostications were for 2026, I see the cloud deck thickening many years before then. The way things are going, it will be overcast here in a couple of years.

We may not be able to see the sun for all that data floating around.

Dr “Silver Lining” Gerlich

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