Yesterday I got reconnected to an old associate Munem Alidina via LinkedIn. Few years ago Munem and I worked together on an IT transformation initiative. During that period we had many interesting discussions on adoption of emerging technology in enterprise. Continuing the past tradition, Munem in his message made an interesting observation. “….. I also happened to read your posting on the Google laptop, which filled me with jealousy as a fellow “cloud liberated soul”. You must post more!… …. I did recently attend a Gartner conference in London that devoted a lot of discussion to cloud. Fascinating paradigm. ..it’s probably a few years before this is seriously adopted by many corporations. Lot’s of more basic challenges to tackle before then. .” It is true, though there is lot of talk about cloud, there are not as many “liberated” .
The Chromebook has finally liberated me to the cloud. Apart from few retreats to Windows on a desktop, I have been living on cloud for most of my computing. Chrome File Manager is not all that user friendly. This has been blessings in disguise. It broke my habit of saving anything locally. I like Chromebook’s light weight, long battery life, quick on/off and feather touch key board. But it is not my only computing device. I find the Cromebook very handy to take to group meetings where I am both creating and consuming information content . On other hand, with its small size, ease of use, crisp image and great sound quality Xoom wins to be my favorite device for consuming content such web browsing, or social computing. I keep Xoom handy while watching TV at home, enjoying coffee in a coffee houses or in book stores while browsing new books. It is a great device for consumption and brief typing. The tablet computer are ideal in trade conferences, conventions and during air travel, where you can browse related content, take pictures and engage in social media.
Good old Windows PC and/or VDI terminal is still the best place to use legacy applications. Even the smart phones have become sort of legacy. I have observed that my phone usage has gone down. I only use it for answering voice calls, sending SMS and quick pick at e-mails. This is an interesting transformation. Just about couple years ago I was hoping that I could do all my computing on Blackberry Bold. With the luxury of multiple devices at disposal, I have started appreciating use of dual screens in remote collaboration session. Having one screen for audio/video communications and other for collaboration can improve working with remote team members across the oceans. It is very common for me to use Xoom tablet with Google Voice and Video Chat and the chrome book with Google Docs when I am working with my team members. PC Desktop, Chromebook, Xoom or Blackberry, the cloud apps behave more or less same. As long as you save the files in the cloud, you have easy access to the documents and data.
Device diversity is not the only thing that has helped us in the liberation to the cloud. The wide variety and range of cloud based service that are available now can serve your need for every occasion. For example, I use evernote for most of the personal notes taking and document management. Having access to all my meeting note n any computer is priceless. Then there is mindjet Catalyst for brainstorming and mind mapping. One can organize all the finances with Mint.com practically any where on any device. And of course, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google + help me stay connected. Yet the true tipping point for me was the adoption of Google Apps. When we switched from Lotus Notes to Google Apps, community of ten thousand plus people with whom I communicate most also moved to cloud.
I guess, journey towards cloud liberation can be done alone, but it is easier to be done with friends, family and coworkers.