Opinion

The cloud goes to Hollywood

I love the way IT is immortalized on the big screen. In the early days of the computer's film career, it usually had a support role. The computer's big scene would be a comical one, where it would overload and go into meltdown. The mainframe playing the part would emote by whirring its tapes back and forth before exploding - for no apparent reason.

My favourite misrepresentation of IT involved a young John Hurt, who played a young nerd in The Sweeney. The nerd is captured by The Mob, who force him to hack into The Bank's computer. Hurt then types the following command into his Green Screen. "Divert gold bullion lorry to the old deserted docks."

Cut to a shot of the gold bullion lorry suddenly turning right and heading towards the docks. Aah, they knew how to make computers in those days!

As IT matured, so it got better and better roles, until it became the star in films like Hackers and The Matrix.

Sadly, fame hasn't been kind to the computer, and it looks like its star is in the descendant. There's a new up and coming model known as the cloud.

The cloud's career has been bubbling under nicely. It has won plaudits for roles where it helped show the lead application in a good light. Some say its role in Email should have seen it nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Other crtics hailed its performance in Storage was a 'tour de force'. The audience loves the cloud. To its credit, the cloud camp are seeking meatier roles that demonstrate its full range.

Its agents, such as Google's head of enterprise search Erik de Muinck Keizer and Saleforce.com's Marc Benioff are working on this.

But already there are whispers. There's a danger that the misconceptions about the cloud could set it back. The cloud definitely needs a svengali or a trusted advisor. Not my words, these are the words of the Gartner Group's channel guru Tiffani Bova.

They say there are four stages in the life cycle of a movie star:

  • Who is Johnny Cloud?
  • Get me Johnny Cloud!
  • Get me a Johnny Cloud lookalike!
  • Who was Johnny Cloud?

As Johnny Cloud's agent and trusted advisor, they are going to be aggressively promoting this exciting talent that can change people's lives.

Mind you, they must pick the roles very carefully. They're not just going to push it in any old ropey production. The cloud, if handled correctly, will become a household name and a box office smash.

Get me the cloud!

This was first published in October 2011

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