Do you qualify for cloud status?

Steve Cassidy ponders whether you're already cloud-enabled but just don't know it yet...

Again, to be blunt (and please don't over-react to the actual numbers here) it can all too often be the case that someone paid 25,000 a year is massively resentful about the 50,000 a year consultant that they have to both select and then work with. Or dreams of what they would do themselves with their 250,000 a year workplace capital purchase budget, yet in their home life is sitting unhappily on a PC that cost them 250.

It seems to me that a great deal of the momentum in cloud adoption in the minds of Joe Public (company director) is driven by personal experiences which are all about that cascade of values. Living in a 250,000 house, driving a 25,000 car, using a 2,500 annual season ticket: Each band of expenditure sits in their subconscious as a morally correct place to be. There's a beautiful story along these lines from a TV documentary about Lottery winners (it may be so old that it is actually about "the pools" instead). The specialist bank manager assigned to big winners described how he saw the winners only buying themselves nice treats carefully selected from just the next price band up, and no further. A winner who already has a Jaguar will buy a nicer Jaguar, not a Rolls-Royce.

To yank us all back into the heart of our common topic: I now realise that when Microsoft, VMware et al were talking about virtualisation being "transformative" a good few years ago, they were ever-so-politely indicating that the main transformation would be for us.

Us: That small group of people who know what they are doing (or who are forced to find out what to do) to link together sets of computers into a network, and then into the world's networks. They weren't thinking of the pace of change in the tools we use. It was a reference to the conversations we have with the gloriously ignorant (notice: I do not accuse the ignorant of being stupid, or of being unintelligent either would be a pretty foolish way to address this problem, and if you are a non-nerd reading this to fix a gap in your knowledge then I very much agree with your assessment, that IT people frequently present as if ignorance and stupidity were freely interchangeable labels. Our bad).

So it has taken me many words to prop up a blanket statement: Do not be surprised when people dump a lot of emotion into the topic of the cloud (as an abstract almost godlike concept) competing very directly in their heads, for the money you should by rights be allowed to spend on the upkeep and extension of your network because for no fault of your own you have rolled a traction-engine over their personal financial bunion. What do we do about this?

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