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Johnson UN Speech - a nubeGO response

Michelle Chismon, one of nubeGO's Technical Relationship Consultants, responds to Boris Johnson's UN Speech.

No matter who you support in politics, we are undoubtedly living through an interesting and tumultuous time in history and nothing really highlights this more than the UK Prime Minister’s inaugural address to the United Nations General Assembly on the 24th September.

Rather than address key topics currently threatening our world, (like climate change, for example), he instead chose to broach the topic of technology and AI and paint a grim and somewhat Doomsday-esque picture of what technology could hold for us in the future if we aren’t careful. Now this isn’t inherently a bad topic to discuss. The ethics surrounding our use of technology is absolutely a worthy topic for discussion, but what caught my attention was the fear he demonstrated towards technology, in particular, the cloud.

“In the future, voice connectivity will be in every room and almost every object: your mattress will monitor your nightmares; your fridge will beep for more cheese, your front door will sweep wide the moment you approach, like some silent butler; your smart meter will go hustling - if its accord - for the cheapest electricity. And every one of them minutely transcribing your every habit in tiny electronic shorthand, stored not in their chips or their innards - nowhere you can find it, but in some great cloud of data that lours ever more oppressively over the human race.

A giant dark thundercloud…

Waiting to burst.” - Boris Johnson, UN General Assembly 2019

There is some strong imagery used there, negative imagery which inspires fear and mistrust, of a technology that seems to be misunderstood by the Prime Minister. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the words “cloud” and “oppressively” used in the same sentence before because the reality is that the cloud opens doors and removes barriers. The cloud however is still a relatively new concept to people in business and many are reticent to make the leap to a new technology. The words above from our Prime Minister do nothing to assuage their doubts.

As a consultant it is my job to inspire companies to consider cloud adoption and transform their ways of working, to help them understand what the cloud actually is and what benefits the cloud can provide. So I want to take this opportunity to provide an alternative view into the cloud, one founded on facts, which paints a more realistic picture of cloud adoption. One that I hope will at the very least, teach Mr Johnson that the cloud is not a giant, oppressive thundercloud waiting to burst.

In the future, you won’t lose any data. Data will be backed up and accessible from anywhere you choose and restoring it can be done in minutes at the click of a button. No more waiting for that tape delivery! Click by click. Tap by tap. Innovation happens at the speed of light because companies no longer have to worry about provisioning their infrastructure, and instead focus on developing new and exciting applications and solutions. Success hovers over the human race, like a ray of sunshine.

A giant ray of sunshine…

About to pierce a cloudy sky.

Ok, that was fun to write, but in all seriousness, the claims I made there are true. Data backup and restoration becomes a simple task on the cloud and having your team focus on the success of your business rather than managing infrastructure is a reality now. Something as simple as needing more storage takes minutes on the cloud to configure, while in traditional systems it can take months of procurement and set up. And these are only two of the benefits of moving to the cloud. I haven’t touched upon the cost, environmental and performance benefits, and even those are just a drop in the ocean for cloud potential.

Imagine being able to go to any doctor’s surgery because your medical records are stored in the cloud and accessible by any medical professional in just a few clicks. Imagine never being stuck in a traffic jam again because data from traffic cameras is analysed in the cloud and used to update your sat nav system automatically. How about not having filing cabinets everywhere because everything is stored on the cloud. The reality is that the cloud breaks down so many barriers, not just for businesses, but for the everyday person on the street too.

The cloud isn’t an unknowable, untouchable thing that inexplicably exists, ready to rain doom down upon us all. It is open and accessible to everyone who wants to use it, whether you just want to store some photos or whether you want to do a full-scale migration from your on-premise data centre. It is there, and it makes no secret of being there so take advantage of it and learn something new!

If Boris Johnson would like to learn what the cloud actually is, then I invite him to attend one of our Cloud Intro Training courses. Perhaps when he understands it, it won’t seem so scary.

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