There’s a recurring theme in computing - that every new idea is polarizing. A change in viewpoint and approach is regarded as a silver bullet by one group and as a minor tweak by another.

Neither viewpoint is correct. By way of example, object-oriented design was looked at as the savior of programming by some and as “just a function lookup table” by others.

I was reminded of this fact recently when an internal discussion started about comments Larry Ellison made around cloud computing. Larry stated that “the cloud” is vapor, just a computer attached to a network and delivering applications. Larry’s a example of the group that sees ideas a minor tweaks.

This is very common to people with an engineering mindset. When presented with an idea, they see it in terms of the implementation. And the implementations are rarely earth shattering. They tend to be variations of what already exists. From that perspective, a cloud is nothing more then a tweak to existing practices.

But cloud computing is a sea change. It’s adding a layer between the physical and the functional. That layer provides flexibility and convenience. Is it a silver bullet that will revolutionize computing? No.

And that’s the trick in computing. Don’t be quick to dismiss and don’t buy the hype.

There’s a recurring theme in computing - that every new idea is polarizing. A change in viewpoint and approach is regarded as a silver bullet by one group and as a minor tweak by another.

Neither viewpoint is correct. By way of example, object-oriented design was looked at as the savior of programming by some and as “just a function lookup table” by others.

I was reminded of this fact recently when an internal discussion started about comments Larry Ellison made around cloud computing (http://blogs.channelinsider.com/cloud_computing/content/business_models/larry_on_cloud_computing.html). Larry stated that “the cloud” is vapor, just a computer attached to a network and delivering applications. Larry’s a example of the group that sees ideas a minor tweaks.

This is very common to people with an engineering mindset. When presented with an idea, they see it in terms of the implementation. And the implementations are rarely earth shattering. They tend to be variations of what already exists. From that perspective, a cloud is nothing more then a tweak to existing practices.

But cloud computing is a sea change. It’s adding a layer between the physical and the functional. That layer provides flexibility and convenience. Is it a silver bullet that will revolutionize computing? No.

And that’s the trick in computing. Don’t be quick to dismiss and don’t buy the hype.