What ‘cloud’ means to 6 year old, Doctor, Teen, CxO & Engineer?

I had interesting experiences with the word ‘cloud’. Let me share them with you.

6 Year Old

‘Dad, after rain what will happen to cloud?’ – my 6 year old daughter asked me. I blinked for few seconds and responded: ‘I don’t know baby’. ‘Daddy – you don’t have any science knowledge’ was her giggling comment. I told to myself, at least you are better than your mother, who comments ‘You don’t have any knowledge’ :).


3 years back my multimillionaire Doctor/Surgeon uncle from mid-west flew to Silicon Valley for a wedding reception. He happen to sit in the same table with me and another person from cloud computing background. That should have been his first time acquaintance with the phrase: ‘cloud computing’. Recently uncle gave a phone call: “After the wedding reception I bought stocks from _______ (major cloud computing provider) & recommended the same to my doctor friends as well. Now those stocks are have gone up significantly and my doctor friends are extremely appreciative of it. Not only that, they are impressed by my knowledge on the latest technologies”. My vocal voice was saying: “Oh, very glad to hear Uncle. I am really happy for you”, whereas inner voice was: “You idiot, why you didn’t do that. May be your wife is right”.


  • Cloud/SaaS
  • Big data
  • Mobile
  • Social

Since major IT research firms have confirmed that you have to be in one of the above magical quadrants to be acquired or go IPO, every CxO wants to use the phrase ‘cloud’ in their Press releases, Sales pitches, marketing materials. By all means I am not referring about my company’s CxOs. We are a cloud/SaaS company by birth. P.S: I don’t want to get in to trouble because of this article :).


For my nephew teen – as long as she is able to check how many likes her recent selfie photograph received, as long as she can check her X-boyfriend’s status message, as long as she can whatsapp with her friends, as long as she can listen to music in her mobile – it doesn’t matter whether it’s a cloud or sky or moon.

Software Engineer

While the word ‘cloud’ has clear meaning to other personalities i.e.

  • 6 year old – rains come from it
  • Doctor – best stock investment
  • CxO – best sellable story
  • Teen – doesn’t matter

it’s really troubling/confusing to a software engineer. He is not sure why so much hype is created around the words ‘cloud’ and ‘SaaS’. It appears to his rationale thinking that ‘Cloud’ and ‘SaaS’ existed from day 1 of the internet. Here is how ‘SaaS’ is defined by world’s leading SaaS company: ‘Software as a service (or SaaS) is a way of delivering applications over the Internet – as a service. Instead of installing and maintaining software, you simply access it via the Internet, freeing yourself from complex software and hardware management.’

Oh boy, according this definition even ‘Email’ (app that existed since initial days of internet) is ‘SaaS’. No one sets up their own software/hardware to read or send emails. Internet day-1 applications such as News, Weather, Search…. are ‘SaaS’ applications. These apps existed even before the word ‘SaaS’ came in to existence. Then why ‘SaaS’ is a buzz? Interesting part is ‘that’ world’s leading ‘SaaS’ claims they pioneered ‘SaaS’.

Similarly the word ‘cloud’. From the initial days of internet – datacenters were renting out server/rack spaces. As next step they started renting machines/blades. As next step they started renting machines with Operating Systems. As next step they started renting machines with Operating Systems with softwares. Now they are renting machines with operating systems with softwares on demand. So it’s following its natural evolutionary cycle.

While Software Engineer is extremely appreciative of ‘cloud’ and ‘SaaS’ – he still doesn’t understand it’s hype.

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