3 Dreams from the 90s Cloud Has Made a Reality

The 90s brought us grunge music and No Doubt.  It also gave us search engines like AltaVista, Netscape, and eventually Google.  It created dreams that the cloud can now deliver in reality:

1.  Pricey applications delivered as a subscription

While I was in graduate school in the 90s, I had the opportunity to participate in a program nicknamed “NAFTA Exchange.”  It gave the opportunity to work with students from Calgary and Mexico City – spending a week in Mexico, the US, and Canada.  During this three-week period, we had the opportunity to meet local businesses.

One of the Calgary-based companies offered a distribution of expensive enterprise applications across networks to dummy terminals.  I remember asking many questions about this because, while rumored to be a possibility, I did not think the available technology would be able to deliver at the performance level businesses needed.  After being that annoying student administering the MBA inquisition to the poor guy giving the tour, I realized they were delivering a base concept of the full dream.

With the growth of cloud services and online application marketplaces popping up for businesses (not just consumers looking for Fruit Ninja), the whole concept is coming to life and being delivered across the Internet to more than just dummy terminals.

2. Chatting it up at work

I was an early adopter of instant messaging.  Especially when dial up kept my phone line busy and Napster downloads had me online all day.  When I moved to Chicago, I would spend hours chatting with my brothers and friends back in Texas.  It was a great way to keep in touch (long-distance pricing was coming down, but was not “free” yet).

At the time I did not realize the benefits of IM in creating a globally dispersed work environment.  As a matter of fact, I was skeptical of the value of it since I could just pick up my phone and call the person to get the information I needed.  However, as remote peers and conference calls became more prevalent, the importance of IM to keep workflow moving has increased.  Now, when you stop, collaborate and listen, IM is built into almost every cloud collaboration tool a business can subscribe to.

3. Backing up without a floppy

Backing up a PC used to involve a box of 3 ½ inch floppies.  It was a really big deal when I threw down the investment on a CD writer.  And all of a sudden every file on my computer could be backed up to one CD!  Granted, every time I went to back up my files, I had to burn a new CD since they were not re-writeable.   The cloud has brought to life the dream of doing nothing – set it and forget it — and the back up of all business files just happens.

What technology dreams from the 90s has the cloud brought to life for your business?
Catherine Scaramuzzi Senior Product Marketing Manager AT&T About Catherine