Chris J Powell

Throwback Thursday – The Cloud's Humble Beginnings

I have always been intrigued by the ability of Business Leaders to be convinced that the “next big thing” is actually new and shiny.  Cloud Computing or “The Cloud” is one of those things that I have never quite understood how it became such a catch phrase that had IT and Business Leaders wondering how they would be able to catch up and be safe.  Sure the ability to transport data across many hundreds of miles of Fibre Optic Lines has enabled the concept to expand to the level it is at now…but when we take a Step Back say 50 years…the Cloud has always been with us.


Back in the day, long before the proliferation of PCs, Tablets and Smart Phones was a world that had was built around Terminal Workstations and Mainframe computers.  This to me in its purest sense is a form of Cloud Computing…sure it was not raining Data but it did enable companies like IBM, Hitachi and Cray to empower business to do more, faster and more efficiently.

The connection of the Workstation to a centralized Server was the way that computing was done for decades until the Personal Computer became more common and the ability to process information was able to be moved from the monolithic Mainframes onto the desks of thousands of knowledge workers in the 1980s…but why do we now regress back to the world of Centralized Computing in the form of the Cloud as we know it today?

Well, it can be cheaper (operationally you don’t have to buy the licenses, maintain the hardware and staff the data centre) and as far as scalability…if you need more…just pull out the company credit card and you have more…need less simply turn off some services.  Easy Peasy has never been so easy.

The future will be filled more and more with very small “Work Stations” scaling all the way down to chips implanted into each of us that will give us a continuous data stream…right now we walk around with Smartphones that are incredibly powerful and we just don’t know the shear capability of these devices because we are just used to it.

The Cloud is here…but what will the future hold?  Only time will tell…but it will definitely be mobile!



Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.