Just when you think you have a handle on the cloud something new and unexpected pops up. We have moved on from the notion of a single monolithic cloud to multiple varieties spanning distances of millimetres to thousands of kilometres, across chip, card, shelf, rack, floor, in and on the body (human and animal), in and on vehicles, across goods and clothing, in a room, building, campus, town, city, region, country, continent, on and off planet - the options are really limitless. It seems impossible to dream up a fully comprehensive list!
Then of course clouds come in a spectacular array of species. These include open, closed, public, private, personal, commercial, government, military, medical; fixed, mobile, permanent, transient, sporadic, on and off net, insecure, super-secure, visible and invisible, url static and dynamic. And the modes of access will include wired and wireless with; copper, glass, infra-red, wifi, wi-max, bluetooth, 3,4,5G, LTE, ZigBee. Honestly, this list seems endless too.
And how about application and use? Now it starts to get impossible to fathom across all dimensions! Apps on machines and/or in cloud, all forms of established internet behaviours including networking, conferencing, working, support, social and more. I'm sure you get the idea!
The number of possible combinations and permutations here is already astronomic. As a result, so is the inherent improvement in operational security. So I think we can be assured of some big surprises as cloud roll out, and I'm now going to put my money on a couple of likely biggies!
First: social clouds will see all the activities of social networking in virtual space translated into real space. If you know someone virtually and they drift into your real space, our mobile devices recognise this and flag the situation. It will be irresistible not to meet and greet!
Second: things that think want to link! Tags on us, our possessions and purchases will add a new dimensions to 'social' that will most likely evolve rather than be 'engineered'. Imagine the data flow: would you like a jacket, shoes, coffee, ice-cream like mine? Or alternatively, where did you get that? A few moments of thought on this topic soon reveals the potential for sharing, recycling, reuse and repurposing.
For the paranoid this most likely sounds some developing nightmare, but for me it looks like security and anonymity through unparalleled obscuration. Ultimately we will all become less visible by being more connected. Paradoxical or what!