Cloud: Fad, Fiction or the Future of Technology

Posted: 23 October 2013

I’ve been living in a cloud innovation bubble for years. Since 2005, it’s been my vision to make Contact Centre technology simple, agile and easy to use, and as cloud adoption accelerates so does the pace of daily world at ipSCAPE – it’s fast, fun and hugely rewarding.


But for a brief moment, I’m stepping out of my cloud innovation bubble and into the world of IT in 2018.


The key questions I’m asking myself are: what percentage of the market will cloud technology capture by 2018?  Will cloud have delivered on the hype?  Will cloud have disrupted the technology landscape, leaving on-premise technologies to reside as dusty, unused museum pieces?


In 2018, alcohol will be the new nicotine, Apple will be the new Nokia, my eldest daughter will be 21 and Hilary Clinton will be the US President.  In this world what will cloud look like?


I guess the answer can be found in growing need for a better customer experience.  Yes I know it’s the Holy Grail – but something I believe Cloud can help us deliver.


In 2018 my 21 year old will be swapping services and products at will, because any remnants of contract lock-in or barriers preventing her (as a customer) from immediately moving elsewhere will be gone. “That’s nothing new”, I hear you say – and it’s true that in 2013, this level of consumer power is affecting all markets, all products.


The difference in 2018 is that the business world will have finally caught up. It constantly strikes me as bizarre that in a world where the average consumer has more choice and more control over the technology they use, where 8 year olds have mobiles and interact with each other not by talking, but through sophisticated online games, that the business world is held to ransom by a small number of very rich technology vendors. Is this caused by apathy or a lack of knowledge?


Whatever the answer, things will be very different in 2018…


In 2018 businesses will simply pay for the IT they consume. They will make real time changes to the technology themselves and if they are not happy they will move to a new provider. Cloud fraudsters will have been ousted, as businesses quickly learn that there is more to cloud than cost reduction. Simply amortising licence costs into PAYG terms over a fixed contract is not cloud. Never was. Never will be.


In fact, in 2018 ‘Cloud’ as a term will no longer be used.  It will be the norm, and companies will simply be used to buying all their IT Services on-demand, like water from a tap: turn it up for more water or turn it down for less. Signing 3 year contracts with huge capital investment up front will be a laughable proposition – something that was done “in the old days”. People will wonder at how any business survived under such weird, restrictive conditions.

I guess very simply is what I’m saying is that in 2018 cloud as a model will no longer exist – it will simply just be the way things are.  So at that point I guess my cloud innovation bubble will have well and truly burst – and it won’t be a minute too soon.