The Connected Web

Phil Wainewright

If You're a Ten-Year-Old, Cloud Is Your Habitat

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Kudos to Accenture for its video, Cloud Computing Here and Now -- Our Youngest Experts Explain the Cloud, which my Enterprise Irregulars colleague Michael Krigsman featured on his blog last week. The stars of this video are all millennial children, and their perspective brings home how radically the cloud has changed the way we all live.

Last week, I had a conversation with my six-year-old son when he came to me saying that he wanted to find out the names of places in Africa. OK, I said, where you can look up information about countries and places around the world? 'Google?' he replied, after just a moment's thought. OK, I said, isn't there a type of book where you can look up all the countries in the world? Finally, he remembered about the atlas. A younger parent than I might have settled for his reliance on the Web but I wanted him to remember there are alternatives, just in case the Internet isn't always there when you need it.

Today, though, the Web is pervasive and the most telling moment in the Accenture video comes right at the end (so I suppose you could say what comes next in this blog post is a plot spoiler, as I'm going to tell you about it). The narration asks, 'Remember the music industry before Apple?' Then it adds, 'They don't.' The point being that some business models and consumer habits have been completely overturned in the past decade.

It's probably worth taking a few moments thinking about what else these 10-year-olds don't remember. I've started a list here but feel free to add more in the comments.

  • Information search before Google.
  • Photo albums before Flickr.
  • Content sharing before Facebook.
  • Money transfers before Paypal.
  • And so on ...

Phil Wainewright blogs about how businesses are using the Web to get better plugged into today's fast-moving, digital economy.

Phil Wainewright

Phil Wainewright specializes in on-demand services View more

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