Nobody cares about the cloud.
It’s a statement that requires a bit of explanation – since “the cloud” is so ubiquitous. I see it advertised on highway billboards, in airport concourses, and everywhere in between. I believe that my current resume and LinkedIn profile may even mention “cloud transformation.”
All of us connected to information technology have been immersed in a decade long frenzy of cloud. Personally, I’ve built production services using at least five different public clouds. I’ve built private clouds using both OpenStack and VMWare. I’ve smeared a single service across multiple public and private clouds (hybrid cloud), used a public cloud to provide additional capacity beyond my on-premise infrastructure (cloud bursting), and hosted one service on one public cloud and a different service on a different cloud –
all for the same enterprise (multi cloud).
I’ve made fun of more than one vendor who tried to convince me that their same old capital intensive, on premise offering was competitive and modern because they had switched to monthly billing with bundled support (enterprise cloud).
I’ve glared balefully at people who tittered about calling a legacy on-premise infrastructure a “fog.”
It’s a cloud that’s close to the ground. Get it?
And yet I claim that nobody cares about the cloud. I suppose that, to be completely honest, I actually mean that I don’t care about the cloud.
I mean this in the same way that I might say that I don’t care any particular Linux distribution, any particular CPU or GPU, or the very latest iPhone.
I’m a technologist, I use technology – but not for its own sake.
I care about what these technologies can let us do.
I care very much about accelerating the tempo of biomedical research and drug discovery. I have been in this industry for nearly two decades now, and it is going too damn slowly.
I care about democratizing the benefits of genomic medicine. Access to these cures is still far too dependent on being rich and having the right connections. Technology can help to reduce that unfairness.
I care about helping my clients to be more competitive as they search for leads, compounds, patents, products, and cures.
I care about ensuring that caregivers, from family through to physicians, have accurate and timely information – and that they can share that information with each other to give the very best care.
I care about appropriate usage of information. I care about preserving privacy while still enabling data driven therapies and intelligent interventions.
I care about empowering people, with both technology and education, to make informed choices.
I care about, in the words of Paul Farmer, “preventing stupid deaths.”
The cloud is a means to an end. It’s a fuzzy and overhyped term for a remarkable and transformative set of technologies. It’s right at the very core of my industry, and I really truly do not “care” about it at all.
I care about the mission.
I don’t care about the cloud.