Some months ago, Salesforce exec Marc Benioff wrote an article hailing the iPad as the new bringer of Cloud 2-dom.
Benioff describes Cloud 2 as the next fundamental transformation. Cloud 1 is defined by the innovations of search engine giants, email, and PCs. Cloud 2 is the software and hardware advances that are happening today.
Businesses should run on this new wave of social networking as the most effective way of communication and informatics. Entire industries (for example, health care) can become more efficient and more visible through these communication changes.
Mainframes are outdated, Lotus Notes and Outlook are outdated. Hell, text is outdated. Businesses should communicate by mobile videoconferencing, by barrages of live feeds, by touch screens. Not only is social networking titillating and simple to use, it is productive. The future of communications is here, and it is Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.
The iPad is the mobile device that will help usher in this new technological era. By focusing on touch screens and video displays, it pushes the envelope for user interface. It runs in the same vein of cloud computing – of networking without messes of local disks or on-premise setups. The iPad is a thin, gorgeous device that revolutionizes everything.
So Marc Benioff says.
Also, at Salesforce.com’s Cloudforce 2010 on June 22nd, Benioff will present his vision of a Cloud 2 world. Among other cloud products, the conference will showcase Salesforce Chatter, the proclaimed Facebook of business.
Rest assured; it’s understandable if you are frightened by the prospect of closing deals over Facebook status updates. As glorious (horrifying) as this may all sound, it’s hard to imagine that Cloud 2 for business is already here.
For one, it’s a strange definition of Cloud 2. Apple, the iPad, and Facebook don’t all necessarily wrap up into one item.
Facebook may not have all the answers. It’s hard to control the inherent chaos of information that is pushed onto users from the system, without request. A workplace can’t exactly function if each user is sitting in front of an unrestrained social networking television screen.
And though it’s an entertaining device, the iPad probably can’t replace entire business infrastructure systems. It’s awfully difficult to write entire business reports or models on iPads. Personal computers aren’t dinosaurs because they can’t fit in one’s pocket, and they can certainly still handle SaaS applications.
This all represents a questionable definition of the next business revolution, where entertainment value and automation translate so effortlessly into productivity.
[Photo courtesy of scienceclarified.]