In two years' time we won't be talking about the cloud

By Danny Palmer
20 Feb 2013 View Comments

We won't be discussing cloud computing in two years' time, not because the service has become obsolete, but because it will have become so ingrained in IT there will not be a need to talk about it as a concept. 

That's the consensus to come out of a roundtable discussion hosted by Rackspace, which explored the impact cloud computing is having on UK businesses. 

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"Most of our customers don't even know they're in the cloud. They consume IT through a server, as far as they're concerned," said Raj Patel, executive deputy chairman of cloud-based accounting software provider Kashflow. 

Patel added that in future cloud will be discussed as an entity which creates value for businesses, rather than just cutting costs. 

"The second thing which is important here is we'll be talking about value creation, due to business models being based on cloud," he said. "At the moment, we're still talking about cost."

Nigel Beighton, international VP of technology for Rackspace concurred that discussion of cloud as a concept will fade, arguing that in the US, it's already happening. 

"In two years' time, I absolutely agree with you, I don't think we'll be talking cloud," he said. "I think it's an old word, almost. Look at some of the advanced markets, areas like the West Coast; the phrase is starting to die down." 

But while cloud looks set to become an integral part of ICT for many businesses and other organisations, Beighton argued that legislation surrounding cloud needs to be brought up to speed.

"It's the fact that legislation... doesn't appreciate how things start to change. So when I look at the legislation we have now, it's not as helpful as it could be for cloud, because it's based around an old model," said Beighton. 

He added: "I understand these things take time, but cloud is starting to speed things up and change how businesses are looking. Legislation needs to reflect that and needs to be updated quickly." 

Action For Children is one of the Rackspace's flagship customers. Last month, the charity's digital communications data scientist Darren Robertson explained to Computing why Action for Children selected Rackspace as its cloud provider.

"What we loved about Rackspace's offering was that we could spin up an instance or as many instances as we needed and only had to pay for what we needed, and then easily turn that back down to a normal state afterwards," he said. 

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