The “Aha!” moments of my cloud understanding

June 8, 2018 Gene Frantz, Octavo Systems

This is part eight in a series. Read part seven here.

In the last blog, I left the impression that the concept of cloud computing is a dumb way to describe the complexity of the internet and all that it does. I did think that “cloud” was a dumb description, as it seemed to trivialize all the technology I had spent my career working on and the sophistication of the system I had come to deeply appreciate.

At that same time, I had been spending a great deal of time attempting to explain in technology speak to my wife the internet and how it worked. She had trouble grasping the concepts, which I thought I had marvelously and eloquently explained. My wife is a smart woman and her understanding in many areas exceeds mine, but technology is not one of them (although at the time she was already an iPhone adopter and I wasn’t). It was during this time that Apple announced the iCloud. I was amazed that my wife immediately understood these concepts that I had been trying to explain to her ­– or at least she understood them well enough not to fear the internet but to appreciate its value. Apple had succeeded where I’d failed. This was an “aha” moment in my appreciation of cloud computing. It took the mystery out of the technology and replaced it with an appreciation of its usefulness. It further meant that creative individuals who did not have an in-depth knowledge of technology could use technology as tools in the areas of their expertise.

Another “aha” moment came when I first heard the term Internet of Things (IoT). Rather than only describing the cloud, the concept of the IoT included the broader ecosystem in which the cloud was a part. This concept made the cloud an integral part of a larger system. As a technologist, it gave me a better understanding of the components and systems needed for each aspect of the IoT. As a user of the technology, it made me appreciate the ease with which it could be used. Therefore, the “aha” moment not only happened to me as a user but also as a supplier of technology. As a user, the concept of IoT allowed me to become comfortable with cloud computing as part of a broader eco system rather than the entirety of a system. As a supplier of technology it made it possible for me to see how the variety of microcontrollers and microprocessors could fit into that ecosystem.

Finally, my wife and I are still discussing the value of the cloud and have adopted it as part of our method of communicating with each other.

Here are a few questions for you:

  1. When did you first hear about Cloud Computing?
  2. When did you first hear about the Internet of Things?

Gene Frantz is Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Octavo Systems.


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