Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Human Cloud?

Posted by Mark Brousseau

A new category of software is revolutionizing the way enterprises will work in the next decade by moving information workers themselves into the Cloud, according to new research by the Real Story Group.

Having mastered the science of hosting and processing information assets, vendors are now beginning to distribute live information professionals on a massive scale. "This is all a natural evolution," notes Real Story Group principal, Alan Pelz-Sharpe. "Enterprises have gone from outsourcing, to nearshoring, to offshoring moving them into the Cloud represents an obvious next step."

Some skeptics have raised technical challenges of hosting human beings in the Cloud. However, an Amazon spokesman played down the technical hurdles. "We digitized Edward Tufte's books, and honestly, we found human beings a lot less complicated," noted Amazon's Justin Tyme Beamme-Up.

Other observers have noted that transferring sentient beings to and from the Cloud could present substantial bandwidth bottlenecks. Real Story Group's Theresa Regli predicts particularly heavy strains on networks in North America.

The Human Cloud marketplace remains very immature, but established vendors have recently rolled out competitive offerings.

Longtime vendor Joylent has a new offering called "Joylent Green," a more eco-friendly Human Cloud service that reduces energy supply to the autonomic nervous system during non-business hours.

Another vendor,, is experimenting with hosting actual salespeople. "It's great! Now I can get their loud voices and loud ties out of my office," said an executive at one satisfied beta customer.

Different types of Human Clouds have emerged, including public and private versions. "We host public clouds for your employees' faces, hands, and mouths, but we put their private parts in, well, a private cloud," said Stratto Cumulus, CMO of Rackspace, who confirmed the vendor had no plans to change its name.

Meanwhile, from Redmond comes news of the forthcoming release of Microsoft's Human Cloud offering. Microsoft's Vice-President of Information Worker Cloud Services revealed that the company's "ShareJoint 2011" offering will be released to beta during Q2 2014 under the slogan, "Where has your body gone today?"

Not every major Cloud vendor is sanguine about the human angle. For example, EMC has no near-term plans to release a Human Cloud service. "As a general rule, we don't like people," explained EMC spokesperson, Ms. Anthrope Hardisk.

Happy April Fool's Day!

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