Cloud Computing is Simple – Just Three Things

There are just three things required to “do” cloud computing.

Authenticate – Store – Process

That’s it!


Are there other elements that make cloud computing more capable and fully functional? Sure. But these three are the basic elements required to “Do” cloud computing.

If you can login (and logout) securely – that is Authenticate yourself. If you can Store your stuff (whatever “Stuff” that is). And if you can Process your data. That’s all you need.

Arguably … that’s all you need for computing in general, but this is especially true for Cloud Computing given all the hype over the past few years.

See my post on Cloud Washing for more about this.


Reality Check 1: Much like an automobile ONLY needs wheels, an engine and brakes --- there have been countless innovations for safety, security and comfort over the past 100 years.

Reality Check 2: Cloud Computing has a similar pattern of innovation. There has been and there will continue to be innovation to extend and enhance the user experience, the admin experience and the developer experience. Each need to work together in harmony to truly maximize the Cloud Experience.

Perhaps there is a parallel that can be drawn to the development of the automobile industry. One where the best and brightest work together, like Mercedes and Volvo do, to bring safety, security and usability to the masses.

So There It Is … Three Simple Things for Cloud Computing


A Slightly Deeper Description

Function Description (simple)
Authentication Login / Logout
Storage Remote storage of Information
Processing Remote Processing
The Function and Description table (above) is very simple because at the core of what is expected from Cloud Computing what it does is very simple … at least on the surface.
Contradiction #1 ---- Of course, the value added capabilities come from the countless vendors and developers that have created solutions to address a wide range of business and technical challenges.
Reality Check 3: Customers (meaning End Users) Don’t Care
For End Users (see my next post on the Consumerization of IT) they don’t know or care where the computing is happening. They just want what they want and they want it NOW!
End Users don’t care whether computing happens On Premise, In the Cloud or in a Hybrid environment.
This is where I contradict myself again
There are people within the organization that care very much about where the data resides. They care for all the same reasons they do in traditional On Premise environments. This post was written to focus on the core building blocks of Cloud Computing and I didn’t intend to go into detail about what IT Professionals need to do or how Developers work with and create for the Cloud.
Here is where I reaffirm myself
Reality Check 3 still holds true --- End Users REALLY don’t care (and they shouldn’t have to).
Bottom Line
If you can login (and logout) securely – i.e. Authenticate. If you can Store your stuff. And if you can Process your data. That’s all you need … at least from an end user perspective.
Full Disclosure: I wrote this post on Jan 20th 2011. I have been sitting on it and ruminating about it for a long time. I didn’t want it to come across as saying cloud computing is overly simple or easy. Yes, there are parts that are simpler and easier, but there is an Art & Science to properly designing, developing and deploying successful solutions --- whether they are “in the cloud” or On Premise or a Hybrid. I didn’t want to disparage all the hard work the community has done to get The Cloud to where it is today --- which is ubiquitous and almost pervasive. Viva La Cloud!

What do you think?

  • Is the Cloud Really this Simple?
  • Has Cloud Computing been over hyped?
  • Will Cloud Computing become pervasive like electricity?

Drop a comment below or connect with me via the social channels below – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+

imageAbout The Author:
I have spent the last 20 years working in various aspects of the ECM industry. I am currently with
Kodak as a Director of Global Solutions. In my past I have spent time at Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and at Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me on Twitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.


cloud computing said…
Currently I work for Dell and thought your post about cloud computing is very impressing. I think Cloud computing is a technology that uses the internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications. A simple example of cloud computing is Yahoo email or Gmail etc.
I am very interested in your post because it is more interesting and useful for me. Thanks for share this post.
cloud ways said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)