With the looming Facebook IPO and the flap about Google’s new privacy policies on many peoples’ minds, we thought it would be a good time to step back and think about how customers want to use the cloud.
The Cloud Stores and Synchronizes Information for Us. When we think of consumer cloud offerings, we think of capabilities like Apple’s iCloud, which is useful for backing up our photographs, keeping our digital music libraries, and synchronizing all of our data across our various mobile and non-mobile i-friendly devices. If we use any of the current Apple devices and software, iCloud is available to us as a free service. If we want to use Apple’s Music Match service, or to buy additional storage in the iCloud, we can pay extra.
We Don’t Need to Know What Computers and Operating Systems Run in the Cloud. As customers, we know that the cloud is “out there” somewhere. It’s on the Internet. We don’t much care where it is. In fact, that’s the benefit to us. All of the stuff that we care about is backed up and synchronized using these ephemeral services that run “out there, somewhere.” The “cloud” that Apple offers us is actually powered by physical computers that run in one or more physical data centers in one or more regions of the world. But we don’t care where they are or what they are, as long as they keep running and backing up and synchronizing our data.