How will we know the moment when cloud computing is no longer the “new new” thing? Simple: some “new new new thing” will come along to replace it (Big Data?). Tech wouldn’t be tech without raging obsolescence. Even consumers get it. How many iPhone 3GS users are eligible for an upgrade (like me) are strategically timing our upgrade by skipping the iPhone 4? The lifecycles are so compressed now that what’s modern in tech today is postmodern tomorrow. To get some perspective on this, here are some simple ways you can get a feel for the insane pace of tech by looking back:
- Look at old computer stuff for sale in the vintage computing category on eBay.
- Visit the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.
- If you can’t get to the museum, check out their online Timeline of Computer History.
- Watch this parody of two Silicon Valley start-up guys bring a whole new meaning to what it means to fail fast.
- Visit the Wayback machine and relive the early days of tech companies like salesforce.com, Twitter, or see how Nimsoft looked on the Web in its formative years.
- Check out Google trends to “compare the world’s interest” in any topic and see how often they’ve been searched over time and how frequently they have appeared in Google News stories. Check out topics like ASP (Application Service Provider), and Nimsoft to see their historical search history.
When does Google Trends say the term “cloud computing” entered the popular search lexicon? It first appeared late in 2007 followed by a steep ramp, while “SaaS” has been Googled since 2004—as far back as Google Trends goes.
Will the cloud be another tech trend that goes the way of ASP? Or is the cloud a new computing paradigm that redefines how we get our information? Google Trends can tell us about the past, but it isn’t a good predictor for what’s to come. You have to take a step back and look at the big moving parts of tech from multiple perspectives to make sense of what might lie ahead.
Next week we’ll kick off a series of fresh essays by popular business writers from the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, NPR and more on the seven massive tech trends that will define your modern IT future. If you can’t wait for the series, you can get them all now in this ebook.