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Post image for Consumer Clouds – A Comfortable and Easy On-ramp to More Complex Business Clouds

I have multiple personalities. No, I’m not schizophrenic but I do have alter egos. During the day, I live and breathe cloud computing with my job as Technology Evangelist at GoGrid, a cloud infrastructure provider. And then the rest of my hours when I’m awake, I’m a dad, husband and technologist, trying to figure out how it all fits together without busting at the seams. This site,, represents many years of trying to figure out how technology integrates into the family, what works, what doesn’t, what to look out for and how to make sense of it all.

It hasn’t been easy, balancing it all out. But there is a light peaking through the clouds, a convergence if you will – consumer clouds. My previous posts in this series pursued an exploration of more corporate-oriented cloud computing topics: how to choose the right cloud for your business, ways to make the cloud work for you, debunking some cloud computing myths and my predictions of what will come in 2012 for cloud computing. And that last link brings up the topic that I want to explore a bit in this article – that of consumer-oriented clouds and how they are becoming embedded in our daily lives whether we know it or not. But also, I want to discuss how consumer clouds act as a trickle-up catalyst for corporate and business clouds


Believe it or not, what we think of cloud computing now has been around for a long time – well before the term was coined. The most common and prevalent form of cloud computing is that of cloud applications. These have had different names: software as a service (SaaS) or even Application Service Provider (ASP), which is what SaaS evolved into. But even nowadays, we use cloud applications without giving them second thought. These are tried and true forms – think hosted email services, photo sharing sites or even online banking. When you use these services, you are using cloud-based (or server farm) applications specifically designed to provide a single activity or function.

But why are consumer clouds important, and especially, why are they important for businesses and corporations? I would pose this hypothesis. People chose to use the things that they are comfortable with. Unless you are a natural risk-taker, most likely pursuing something completely new is scary. Would you try something new in your work environment without knowing about it? You are putting your job at risk if you do potentially. But let’s say you have been using a particular technology or service at home, with your family, or personally. Over time, you become comfortable and confident in it. And once you have done your due diligence personally, it is much easier, and more feasible to bring into your work environment.

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