Cloud-based software seems to work well. It reminds me of pre-Internet times when I rented time on corporate mainframes at night and loaded data over the telephone. Funny how things stay the same even though they change.
This statement was made by a user of an entirely browser-based simulation platform who obviously has seen at least 40 years of progress in technological development. It reflects a positive attitude towards new technologies and, in particular, cloud computing, based on experience with it and on the perception of a reassuring continuity.
This continuity or reappearance of certain practices lies in the common use of hardware and the “on-demand” payment structure for computing time, and also in shared computing resources. However, whereas this was once a necessity, due to its scarce availability, nowadays it’s a commodity.
In an age of globalization and rapid changes through inventions and scientific progress, two of our societies' (and economies') main concerns are to satisfy the needs and wishes of the individual and to save precious resources. Cloud computing caters to both of these. The individual might choose time, space, means, and cost of the service he uses, and even what this service actually consists of and whether it can be customized. At the same time, resources are shared and used on demand, i.e,. more consciously and economically.
A designer who previously worked his models out on his drawing table and then sent them to his client, now creates a CAD model, uploads it on a platform to show it to colleagues or so he can modify and improve it, then sends it to the customer. And this comes at a low or no cost, with the communicative and interactive possibility to share and work on it.
What hasn’t changed almost 50 years later is the need for products and services to become faster, cheaper, and better (higher quality, more efficient, and more powerful). And the new model makes them commonly available, shareable, and sustainable. Cloud computing is an approach to fulfill all those requirements, and, even though it still very often raises security concerns, it has a very promising future.
— Lavinia Brancaccio lives in Germany but traveled extensively and lived abroad. She holds a PhD in foreign languages and literatures and has been writing for German and Italian magazines. She now works for a young German engineering startup, which introduced her to the world of innovative technologies.