The cloud will save us from future problems

JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin

Think about all of the people that started to panic the day that Microsoft announced that long term support for Windows XP was ending on April 9 2014.

Perhaps you were one of them, or you know someone that was?

It doesn’t matter who you are, your trials and tribulations are peanuts compared to John Lewis. The BBC reported this week on the headaches the retail company had migrating its network of 26,000 XP machines nationally.

If you read the article, you will find that it is not simply a case of buying a new computer to replace the old. Oh no. It never is that simple is it? In the case of traditional desktop computing, you need to ensure the applications all work on the new operating system. In this case it was Windows 7 and the applications numbered in the hundreds. A tall order for any IT department.

So how can John Lewis and others (companies and regular people like you and me) learn from this and be better prepared for the future?

I mean, it goes without saying that one day Windows Vista, Windows 7 and even Windows 8 will run out of life and millions of people will be faced with the same headaches all over again.

The solution has already started to be adopted and that solution is the cloud and web applications. If you do everything in the browser and that browser obeys the standards that have been agreed the world over, then it doesn’t matter what computer you are using, it will all still work.

So future upgrades really will be as simple as buying a new machine to replace to the old. End of story. That is it in a nutshell.

It helps the developers too, in that they only have to support one application and it will work on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux and whatever else you can think of that may exist in the future.

Alan Stainer