EVERY day we are told that we live in a "knowledge" economy, society and age. Big picture historians remind us that, in truth, EVERY age has been a knowledge age of sorts [i.e., in every age there were specific things you needed to know]. In the early days of the walking erect era our various Homo precursors were expected to know how to hunt and how to gather. In the agricultural age our ancestors were expected to know how to grow things. In the knowledge age we are expected to know how to know and know what we are supposed to know. Cloud computing is one of the things information professionals are going to have to know about moving forward.
The AIIM Executive Leadership Council has determined that four disruptive technologies, mnemonically labeled the "S.M.A.C. Stack" [Social, Mobile, Analytics/Big Data, and the Cloud] will shape the next competitive cycle. These technologies need to be understood, mastered and deployed to maximum effect.
In this White Paper we synthesize the discussions and conclusions emerging from AIIM Executive Leadership Council deliberations about cloud computing - what it is and what information managers need to know about it.
About ten years ago, while conducting a scan of ahead-of-the-curve IT practices I was fortunate to intersect with Bernardo Huberman, a Hewlett-Packard [HP] fellow and director of the systems research center at HP Labs. At the time Dr. Huberman and his team were experimenting with a new unit-of-computing metric called a "computon." [The word is a cross between "computation" and "photon," the name for a packet of electromagnetic energy.] The HP futures team, charged with thinking ten to fifteen years down the road, envisioned a future world of computing where customers would be charged for computer 'use' the same way utilities charge for electrical use today. The computon – it was hoped – would be to the information age what the kilowatt-hour was to the industrial age.
While the "computon" metric did not catch on, the idea of pay-per-use, scale-asyou- go, global class computing did. Cloud computing is a fascinating case study of how change [first perceptual and later operational] evolves in the information management industry.
Cloud computing has a lot to do with location – where computing happens and where data resides. Historically, computing location has essentially been driven by the economics of computing [i.e., how much computer processing costs, how much storage costs, how much bandwidth costs, and how much software costs]. As the relationship between these cost elements changed, so too did the optimal architecture. One always architected to optimize use of the most expensive computer resource.