Cloud Computing Strategy: The Cloud is Not a Person, Place or Thing

Since my days in junior high school (many years ago in a galaxy far, far away), I’ve recognized myself as somewhat challenged in proper use of commas, pronouns, adjectives, and the general mechanics of the English written word.  While I’ve improved over the years (thanks to my editorial helpers), a 1971 edition of the Practical English Handbook remains my trusted and constant companion.

Having made this confession, it was with some irony that I wrote my latest industry perspective for Data Center Knowledge discussing my fifth fundamental truth of cloud computing strategy: Cloud is a verb, not a noun.


In general, a noun is a word denoting a person, place, thing, event, or idea. A verb is typically a word denoting action, existence, or occurrence.  If you’ve followed my Industry Perspectives columns (and thanks if you have), you’ve likely recognized that I tend to characterize the cloud as a complex process that requires alignment of many moving parts. In other words (at least in Bob’s opinion) it’s more a verb than a noun.

At recent industry conferences, I’ve met attendees who seem intent on defining the cloud as a discussion about the data center (with sub-topics of virtualization and consolidation) and thin client.   While these two elements are certainly components of the cloud (with recognition that usage models and  bandwidth must be considered first for the client side discussion), they do not really represent the whole.  While it’s not clear to me why this is happening, it seems to be an attempt to slice and dice the cloud topic into bits that are less intimidating.  Who knows?

Is this something familiar in your world?  If so, I encourage you to read my industry perspective and join in the discussion.   For more information or answers to your questions, please feel free to contact me on LinkedIn.