The Definition of Human Cloud

I can’t comment about anything related to Oracle’s proposed buyout of Sun. But, I can be transparent and say that many things are up in the air right now. This blog, for instance, which Ingrid Van Den Hoogen asked me to start writing last year, might change. I simply don’t know if it will transition or how or if it will end entirely. So, that leads me to believe that I must ensure my readers understand what I mean by Human Cloud. It’s how I want to leave it, just in case I have to leave it.  It makes me feel more prepared for change.

Is It About Social Media?

A piece of the Human Cloud is about the democratization of media. But, it’s not the whole thing. Web 2.0 technologies have played a huge part in enabling individuals to take advantage of social media to further their personal brand. The eyes and ears of the masses no longer belong to just the huge enterprise. Media has come to the individual, the average Joe or Jane, who can use it to build community for their business or to help others across the globe.

According to a PEW study, only 5% of average internet users took advantage of social networks in the beginning of 2005. At the end of 2008, that number grew to 35%. Numbers from comScore by geography are even more impressive, with a worldwide year-over-year increase of 25% 2007 and 2008. {UPDATE 6/16/09: The Conference Board and TNS just released their quarterly Consumer Internet Barometer, which states that 43% of the online community now uses social networking sites.} If it is possible that social networks will reach a tipping point where growth is almost vertical, then that tipping point starts now.

I believe the democratization of media is one of the most important and transformational events in human history. It changes everything:

  • It changes business — in the way it is created and the way it gets done.  It also is a huge contributor to brand relevancy.  If communities are built around companies that don’t get it, community leaders will walk away and the brand runs the risk of fading into the sunset.
  • It exponentially increases innovation through sharing of individual bits of knowledge that enable things like social development projects and social programming and allows humans to solve problems much more quickly than before.
  • It changes human relationships. I have more virtual friends than physical friends, and through those relationships I understand worldwide trends and events, even getting notice of them before big news channels report them.  Through these relationship, I am able to understand just how many people are really trying to help others, at a global scale.

The democratization of media makes this time the best time in human history to build a business, leave a legacy, help others, and change the world.

Is It About Mobility?

Mobility is part of the definition of the Human Cloud, too. The proliferation of mobile devices is amazing. I was reading a forecast by Cisco about global mobile data traffic and wasn’t surprised about many of the numbers about potential growth in data traffic from a single mobile subscriber.

  • In 2005, the average person used one mobile device (a mobile phone) and consumed 30 MB from the
  • In 2009, the average person will use two mobile devices (add a laptop) and consume 1050 MB from the
  • By 2015, the average person will use six mobile devices (add a video camera, auto GPS system, Sony Playstation, and Nintendo DSI, for example) and consume 14,275 MB from the cloud.

I think the last number is wrong because I believe the average technology user will consume much more than 14,275 MB from the cloud by 2015. A blu ray disc can hold up to 25GB for a single layer and 50GB on a dual-layer. That technology alone will take us far beyond the 14K+ MB usage forecast because we’ll surely be downloading blu ray media to our cloud enabled TVs and mobile phones soon.

Why is mobility and the proliferation of mobile devices important to the Human Cloud discussion? Because humans demand these devices and demand we have instant access to the cloud, everywhere we go. Mobility demands will continue to drive user interface design, device design, and growth of social networks for many years to come. Mobility is a huge part of being human. We’re geeky nomads who want data now, wherever we happen to be.

Is It About Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing plays a big role in the Human Cloud. As Kevin Clarke puts it, cloud computing represents the “democratization of computing” to the masses. It provides the infrastructure and the platform for social tools which link to networks that enable mobility. Without cloud computing, the Human Cloud would not be possible.

Cloud computing is the great enabler of the Human Cloud. That is why I have been so excited and so passionate about the Sun Cloud, intended to be an answer to our customer’s demand for an alternative to other public clouds. As a product manager in a very engineering-centric environment, it’s been a frustrating and exhilarating experience.

There is more to cloud computing than the public cloud, though. Despite the repeated argument that private clouds cannot exist, they actually do. And the demand for them is immense.

Private clouds have several forms.

  • Private cloud in a data center hosted and managed by a cloud service provider
  • Private cloud data center on site in the enterprise managed by a cloud service provider.
  • Private cloud data center on site in the enterprise that is wholly managed by the enterprise.

I’ve seen a surprising amount of interest in the private cloud concept. And, that will be where the bulk of revenue is generated for cloud service providers. But, it’s not going to represent the major use of cloud computing for enterprises.

The hybrid cloud represents the most useful way to take advantage of cloud computing for any business. I think the hybrid cloud will be a reality for a long time. While individuals use the public cloud, enterprises will host their own private clouds to tightly control security, privacy, best practices, and ensure regulatory compliance. Those same enterprises will take advantage of the public clouds for spikes in activity, development and testing, backup and disaster recovery, and information gathering and intelligence. The value model is simply too good to ignore.

It’s About All of These.  And, It’s About Change.

The democratization of media, the democratization of computing through cloud technology, and mobility trends all contribute to the evolution of the Human Cloud. And, change will come, so I expect that definition to change
over time. Right now, I’m just glad to be a fish in the big pond.


Author: Ynema Mangum

Ynema Mangum is an experienced, data-driven principal product manager of mission-critical composable infrastructure at HP Enterprise. Constantly curious, her passions draw her to emerging technologies. She joined HP 6 years ago as a solutions architect for private IT cloud computing. She then served as owner of the enterprise social collaboration domain at HP, responsible for its future direction. Prior to her current position, she was a senior product manager for the massive HP ConvergedSystem 900 for SAP HANA. At SUN, she was a product line manager for cloud computing, responsible for the requirements for common subsystems of the Sun Cloud, as well as user personas, industry analysis, and competitive research. Her product experience also includes building web based database management systems at BMC Software targeted at Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase, DB2 and DB2 UDB. Y provides an invaluable hybrid mix of strategist, architect, product manager and product marketer with an unbendable passion for the user experience. Her entrepreneurial experience allows her to understand business as a whole and drives her to make decisions and execute quickly. As an added bonus, she is certified in ITIL v3 best practices for IT and Pragmatic Product Management. Ynema is a change agent. She considers herself a determined influencer and a connector whose collaborative nature ensures success in introducing new concepts and services into the mainstream -- even in the most complex environments. She thrives on doing what seems to be impossible, and enjoys taking calculated risks in her personal life -- snowboarding, skiing, SCUBA diving or wake boarding when the season is right.

2 thoughts on “The Definition of Human Cloud”

  1. good info on the topic, makes sense but it is not what i am looking for and i have reached my point of frustration

  2. Looks like your IP address is from Africa. Unfortunately, your comment is anonymous and doesn’t give me much information to go by. What kind of info on this topic are you looking for and for what purpose?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s