Friday, May 4, 2012

Dividing the cloud, and the Empoprises FECES Rule of Corporate Me-Tooism

Jesse Stay was not happy.

Don't get me wrong - I love Google, but what ever happened to, "Go Web"?

Jesse's comment was prompted by a Google Official Blog post entitled "Get stuff done in the cloud. Go Google."

Of course, Google isn't the only vendor claiming that they can provide the cloud. I've previously noted that Oracle defines "the cloud" as "the data that you can access on a machine running Oracle hardware and software." And, of course, you have SkyDrive (from Microsoft) and iCloud (from Apple) and IBM cloud products and Dropbox and everyone else.

And we thought that there was one cloud out there.

But this is what happens with your cool technology term of the data. Whenever a term becomes trendy - whether it's "cloud" or "Internet" or "integrated software," every marketer worth his or her marbles runs forward to claim that their company - and only their company - can provide the trendy buzzword that everyone's talking about.

In fact, I've developed the "FECES Rule" to explain this behavior - whoops, I should call that the "Empoprises FECES Rule." Or the "Empoprise FECES Rule of Corporate Me-Tooism." Here it is:

Trust me, if FECES suddenly became a trendy acronym that all the cool kids were talking about, then you would have Microsoft, Google, Apple, Oracle, IBM, and everyone else climbing over each other and loudly declaring, "We are FECES."

I then concluded:

And they would be correct. :)

Of course, there are disadvantages to jumping on the trendy bandwagon. What happens when the bandwagon is no longer trendy?

When I first started working in biometrics in the 1990s, the trendy term was "client-server." So you can bet that all of the stuff that I wrote talked about our client-server architecture.

But by the year 2000, things were changing, and all the cool kids stopped talking about "client-server" and started talking about "multi-tier." Around this time my employer changed its system architecture, and therefore you can bet that all of the stuff that I wrote talked about our multi-tier architecture.

At this point, I would become highly amused when I'd see something written by another company trumpeting its client-server architecture. This company had jumped into the trendy client-server pool a few years back, but hadn't yet realized that the pool was getting dirty and the lifeguards and swimmers were gravitating to the new pool next door.

And yes, I would laugh at those bozos who were still talking about client-server when everyone knew that multi-tier was the way to go. Yes, me - the non-trendy guy - would put others down for not being trendy.

And now the cycle is repeating itself again, as everyone fights to claim their own share of the cloud. Well, at least until the cloud becomes criticized for speed or security or other issues, and the pendulum swings back toward local management of your own data.

P.S. Please note that the Empoprise FECES Rule of Corporate Me-Tooism is copyright 2012 John E. Bredehoft, and that this FECES Rule is superior to all other supposed FECES Rules out there. This FECES Rule was specifically developed based on my early 1980s experience with "Paddy O'Futniture" jokes on USENET. Can Google or Pinterest claim that? I think not.
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