Saturday, March 13, 2010

Is your cloud a poodle?

Since we're fond of replacing meaningful concepts such as commoditisation, lifecycle, categorisation and computer utilities with bland terms like "cloud", I thought I'd follow the trend on to its next logical conclusion - Poodle Computing.

The shift of I.T. activities from being provided "as a Product" to being provided "as a Service" through large computer utilities has an obvious next step - the formation of competitive marketplaces. These marketplaces will require standardisation of what is after all a commodity (i.e. ubiquitous and well defined enough to be suitable for service provision through volume operations) and the ability of consumers to switch easily between and consume resources over multiple providers (which in turn requires multiple providers, access to code & data, interoperability of providers and an overall low exit costs)

I won't bore you with the mechanics of this and the eventual formation of brokerages & exchanges, I covered this subject extensively in 2007 when I made my "6 years from now you'll be seeing job adverts for computer resource brokers" prediction.

However, in this future world of brokerages and fungible compute resources (or fungitility as I jokingly called it) the consumer will become ever more distanced from the source of provision. This will be no different to the many other forms of utilities where vibrant exchange markets exist and what the consumer purchases often has gone through the hands of brokers. You don't actually know which power station generated the electricity you consume.

So this brings me to the title of the post. As consumer and the source becomes more distanced, it reminds me of Peter Steiner's cartoon"On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog".

On that basis, what sort of dog flavour of computing resource will you be consuming?

By introducing the concept of "dog computing" to cover this "cloud of clouds" world (hey, they're both meaningless) then the marketing possibilities will become endless and a lot more fun.

I can see the conversation now, walking into a lean and mean sales organisation and saying to the CEO that they are using "Poodle Computing". Shouldn't they be using our brand new "Pitbull Computing" or at least upgrading to "Springer Spaniel"?

We could always call things what they are (computer utilities & competitive markets of computer utilities") but I suspect we will end up with "cloud of clouds", "cloud exchanges" and an OTC market of ominous sounding "cloudy futures".