Here’s How To Win Life-Changing Gains Through Cloud Computing
“I really worry about everything going to the cloud,” warned Steve Wozniak, the famous co-founder of Apple. “I think it’s going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years.”
As you may know, the “cloud” Wozniak is talking about is cloud computing — a way to store your data from your desktop, laptop, phone, tablet or local server onto a remote system. The cloud is on the Internet, so you can access it anywhere in the world as long as you have a connection.
Rather than installing and storing your Microsoft Word or Apple’s Pages applications on your computer, for example, you can upload them to the “cloud.” This frees up space on your hard drive, allowing you to access things quicker and more efficiently.
A good example of cloud computing is the Google Docs program. Another company that heavily relies on it is Amazon.
From an investing side, cloud computing stocks have been on the rise. A handful are up more than 50% on the year.
But with Wozniak’s warning…is it time to be a buyer or seller of the technology? Asked a different way, can you still make money from cloud computing stocks?
More on that in a moment. First, let’s get back to Wozniak’s warning…
Here’s what he said, as Agence France-Presse put it:
“‘With the cloud, you don’t own anything. You already signed it away’ through the legalistic terms of service with a cloud provider that computer users must agree to.
“‘I want to feel that I own things,’ Wozniak said. ‘A lot of people feel, “Oh, everything is really on my computer,” but I say the more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we’re going to have control over it.’”
A day after Wozniak warned an audience about the dangers of cloud computing, a hacker or group of hackers tricked an Apple employee into wiping out all the data on one journalist’s devices.
Apparently, if clever hackers have enough of your personal information, you’re not the only one who can access your cloud.
Wired reports on the latter story, in which journalist Matt Honan’s had years of work obliterated:
“In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed. First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter account was compromised, and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages. And worst of all, my Apple ID account was broken into, and my hackers used it to remotely erase all of the data on my iPhone, iPad and MacBook.”
Not only did they delete all of his stuff, but they prevented him from getting back in.
As soon as he reset his password for a temporary one, he checked his email to retrieve it…but the hackers threw it in the trash before he could even open it!
In the world of technology, nothing is seemingly secure.
So will anecdotes like this journalist’s nightmare, and warnings from tech veterans such as the Wise Woz, slow down the cloud computing trend?
In the big-picture scenario, no. Cloud computing will most likely prove to fulfill its expectations as “the third revolution,” after the rise of the PC and the Internet.
Of the three types of cloud computing — infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) — it is the last that will thrive the most.
In other words, even if people return to backing up all of their information on hold-in-your-hand hardware, or don’t feel comfortable risking it on the cloud, software applications will continue to go in that direction. At this point, SaaS platforms are unstoppable.
People will gladly allow the convenience of web applications to replace traditional software, because the tools to create content will evolve faster on the web. The data generated by the tools themselves, however, can be stored in the memory of peoples’ hard drives if need be.
Large companies who pioneered cloud computing in the first place are already making their computers and devices in the near future cloud-connected.
Apple is pushing to get its customers to use iCloud, for example. Google’s whole operating system is based on the cloud. And Windows 8, which will hit desktops by the tens of millions in the coming year, is the most cloud-centric operating system yet.
These big companies have gone all in on cloud computing.
After all the years of research and all develop costs, do you think they’ll let a few small anecdotes slow them down?
I don’t either. Here’s the best way to play it…
The tech companies who lack the SaaS model in their DNA will either have to acquire smaller companies specializing in these platforms or suffer the consequences.
This gives you the chance to load up on some of the smaller players and patiently wait for the big boys to take ’em over.
One private company on the cutting edge is Acquia. It’s not a matter of if, but when it goes public or is bought out.
We’ll inform you when investment opportunities in companies like these arise, so you can get the best yield possible.
Technology Researcher for The Penny Sleuth
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