Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cloud Definitions - More Useless than Statistics?

Given that we all use various elements of Cloud Computing every day, I know they can't be classified as Lies, damned lies and statistics...

...but several years into this latest phase of computing, it seems we can't go more than a few weeks without someone trying to create a new definition for Cloud Computing (herehere and here).  Everybody spinning a new cloud definition to help establish themselves as the leader in this transition, according to their own model.

Do I blame companies, consultants, standards-bodies and media for trying to establish themselves as a thought leader as things change? No, that's normal behavior. But what really concerns me is the potential damage this does to overall innovation across the industry if people spend more time worrying about definitions than they do creativity. We discussed this on The Cloudcast with Christian Reilly a few weeks ago, in the context of how he helped his company adopt a new services-centric model within their business.

Christian made a subtle, but insightful, comment that we didn't put very many definitions around "the Internet" as it was evolving throughout the 1990s. This allowed companies and developers to be creative in how they created technology and evolved it for their businesses.

Am I overthinking this or are the definers getting in the way of the thinkers and doers?