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Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. His business interests include a diverse range of industries from manufacturing to property to technology. As a technology commentator he has a broad presence both in the traditional media and extensively online. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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6 responses to “Cloud Computing – Scrap the Term?”

  1. Adrian Pearson

    Hi Ben, I think I am going to agree with you but coming from a different angle. See my posting at

    Cloud is a great term for 99.9% of the business world who are not techies. It means we can “not go there” in terms of asking any more.

    The problems you describe are unique to techies and, yes, perhaps they should stop using the term Cloud and be a bit more precise, and professional.

  2. justinpirie

    You’re spot on Ben. I blogged about something similar last week, confusing layers of the SPI model. I’ve thought recently that we need to REALLY differentiate between the different SPI layers and try and remove the friction between SaaS and P/IaaS events… so instead of cloudcamp maybe iaas camp???


  3. Jason Barone

    Interesting comment Adrian. I’ve used the phrase “cloud computing” with non-techies in reference to small business and productivity applications, and I don’t think it’s a good term to use with them. Most people either sound or look confused. You almost have to explain it every time with words and associations that they actually understand.

    Unless you’re familiar with the web, I don’t think the term means much at all. Most non-techies can’t even grasp the general concept of how the internet works, I can’t imagine what they’re thinking when someone mentions “cloud computing”.

    I think it’s a definite buzzword, similar to “going green”. It will likely die out because of overuse. I stay away from it already and stick to the basics.

  4. Rick Shera

    Cloud is useful as Adrian says to describe things to non-techies at a very high level of abstraction or to debate high level policy issues (privacy for example).

    However, even for non-techies, I find that you rapidly need to get beyond “well the difference is that when you use the cloud, instead of all the action happening here on your server, with your own licensed software and hardware, that stuff gets done in the cloud”.

    When businesses are being asked to rely on “the cloud” for critical parts of their own service or product delivery, naturally enough they want to know who, why, what, where, how.

    That is when the cloud analogy starts to just get … well .. a little foggy.

    Maybe we need to refine it – SaaS=cirrus; P/IaaS=cumulonimbus 😉

  5. Ben Kepes

    Rick – but what about Stratus? You can’t forget poor stratus!

    Great comments everyone – many thanks…

  6. Paul Spence

    I’m in two minds about this. As an ex-meteorologist I can relate to the analogy. As a techno-cynic I’m wary of fads and buzzwords.

    I think people sometimes need to have a flag to rally beneath. And “distributed, configurable computing camp” is such a mouthful.