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Geeks may inherit the Earth but at what cost?

10th March 2015 · Our Thoughts

Vicki Michelle returns to the jungle on iomart stand at CloudExpo

In 2013, world renowned naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough famously gave an interview to the Radio Times where he stated that he thought man as a species had stopped evolving. He argued that “We stopped natural selection as soon as we started being able to rear 95-99 per cent of our babies that are born. We are the only species to have put a halt to natural selection – of its own free will, as it were.”

He then expanded on this point by explaining that this was not such a bad thing. “Stopping natural selection is not as important, or as depressing, as it might sound – because our evolutionary process is now cultural,” he stated explained. He further clarified this point by stating that Humans are quickly evolving in other ways and cited computing as key catalyst in this process. Technology provides us with instant and inherited knowledge assisting us at every stage of our continuing evolutionary process. We use technology to communicate, to combat disease, to aid the less able, to produce and supply food, to travel and even try to forewarn against natural disasters. In fact technology is now interwoven in the very fabric of our lives. We may have halted the process of natural selection but the pace of technological evolution hasn’t slowed down, in fact it has increased.

During 2014 the US Science & Technology development group Battelle estimated that the World spent about $1.6tn on research and development in a range of engineering and technology related disciplines from robotics to social media. With this R&D being undertaken by more than 7 million people employed globally in these disciplines. We now produce artificial limbs that respond to brain impulses, steel that is stronger and lighter and have our deliveries made by drone. These innovative examples are very visible and ones that most people can comprehend but one of the biggest challenges faced by technology industries is our ability to make sense of it at the same rate as the innovation activity itself.

This is extremely evident in the world of business IT where ‘Cloud services’ are proliferating and causing confusion. Organisations that are making the decision to use cloud are by default taking the decision to change the way they do business. But do they go public, hybrid, private? What applications are right for their business and are they cost effective? Where is my data held and how secure is it? These are just a few basic questions that businesses require answers to before taking the cloud plunge.

It is hardly surprising that many writers compare the IT marketplace to a jungle – wild, untamed, dominated by predators and hugely difficult to navigate without a knowledgeable guide.

It is this hypothetical wilderness that is leading more and more businesses to select a trusted advisor and ‘cloud agnostic’ single CSP like iomart rather than working with multiple providers to assist them on their cloud journey. Choosing an expert cloud service provider who you can build a lasting relationship with and who has the expertise to deliver a variety of requirements ensures you can architect services to meet your exact needs.

Every business has different requirements and it is imperative that Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) articulate the features and benefits of their products and services clearly and transparently. Even for an emerging market, cloud is not short of its critics.

Much ire has been aimed at claims of the ‘greenness of cloud computing’, focusing on the amount of energy being used up by data centres hosting cloud services. A natural starting point and an easy target given that analysts such as the Digital Power Group suggest that IT consumes 10 percent of world’s electricity consumption. But little is made of the fact that Cloud computing is probably the most energy-efficient method to address the exponential demand for computation and data storage. The architecture of cloud computing is hugely more efficient than traditional on-premises server solutions, but it must be acknowledged that the promise of truly green cloud computing relies on the use of renewable clean energy sources.

As a cloud ‘agnostic’ CSP iomart is expected by its clients to offer and support services from the world’s leading vendors such as Microsoft, AWS, EMC, DELL and Asigra – quality products with clear benefits in terms of cost, user engagement and productivity.

The latest product to be included within iomart’s extensive portfolio is Microsoft’s Office 365 – a truly collaborative service that enables people to take work from anywhere as easily as if they were sat at a desk in the office. Working with Microsoft, iomart intends to build on the theme of cloud, jungles, IT and remote working by supporting Rainforest Concern’s charitable work in preserving the Ecuadorian Cloud Forests.

More than 10 years ago, Rainforest Concern took the decision to take direct action in the conservation of the forests of Intag, located in the foothills of Imbabura province in the northern Ecuadorian Andes. These are among the last subtropical cloud forests in this area of Ecuador and they are the home of many threatened species of fauna and flora. Rainforest Concern’s dream began with the purchase of the first hectares of cloud forest, and since then the Neblina Reserve has become a protected area, declared by the Ministry of Environment as a state-protected forest.

Launching a major campaign at this year’s London CloudExpo event, iomart will be supporting the work of Rainforest Concern by purchasing areas of cloud rainforest, equipping Forest Wardens and Scientists working in Ecuador with Office 365 enabled tablets, and making a donation for every Office License sold throughout the year.

The iomart stand – 220 – will appropriately reflect the cloud forest theme and will even feature an appearance from our Queen of the Jungle’ Vicki Michelle on the show’s first day.

We hope that this rather novel approach will help us deliver some serious messages about the power of remote working and the benefits of cloud services whilst importantly helping a Charity to secure rare cloud forest from the threat of deforestation.

Returning to Sir David. He concluded his interview by wistfully declaring that “In another 100 years people will look back at a world that was less crowded, full of natural wonders, and healthier.”

Let’s hope for our grandchildren and their grandchildren’s sakes that we have managed to protect and preserve such magical environments as Cloud Rainforests and that technology has played its part in ensuring that we do.

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