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Happy 10th birthday YouTube! The 1st Cloud Computing Success?

23rd April 2015 · Our Thoughts

Can the video hosting platform that has revolutionised how we consume digital content and record our daily lives really have reached its first decade?

Happy Birthday YoutubeWe are now all broadcasters, showcasing individual talents, comedic moments, our pets and children and everything and anything else we feel the need to record and upload. Currently there are 300 hours of video being uploaded to every minute! Just think about that fact for a moment. 300 hrs, 12.5 Days, nearly 2 weeks’ worth of video footage being uploaded in the time it will take you to finish reading this blog. It is both a mixture of frightening and wondrous.


10 years is not a long time for any business to be around, but no one can argue with the impact YouTube and its fellow social media cohorts have had on almost every aspect of our daily lives. Facebook’s annual results (released today) reveal that 1.44 Billion users log in at least once a month. That’s an equivalent online population to rival Chinas – and it’s taken China since the dawn of man to reach that number, it’s taken Mark Zuckerberg 11 years. One question that the phenomenal growth of these community platforms raises is how have they achieved these figures in such a short period of time?

The answer, on a very basic level, is the change in the way we deliver and consume technology. We have all been stating for a few years now that Cloud Computing is a relatively new-fangled thing, but actually it has been around for a while and it formed the bedrock of the social media explosion.

Simply provide compelling content to anyone who has a device capable of accessing it without the need to develop, deploy, own, maintain etc the software or hardware required to run it – simples! A very similar situation to the rise of television – we’ll make the programmes, we’ll arrange to transmit them, you simply buy a devise capable of receiving them. In America during the 1940s, the three TV networks – NBC, CBS and ABC – were “networks” in name only.

It was only when AT&T finished laying coaxial cables coast to coast with enough bandwidth or electrical capacity to carry both phone calls and transmit television signals that the networks became ‘networks’. Between 1949 and 1969, the number of households in the U.S. with at least one TV set rose from less than a million to 44 million. The number of commercial TV stations rose from 69 to 566. The amount advertisers paid these TV stations and the networks rose from $58 million to $1.5 billion. And all because the technology advanced to make access easy for the consumer.

Just think, if your business was uploading 300 hours’ worth of data per minute, how many servers and physical hard drives on legacy platforms would be required to be provisioned and set up? If you asked your IT team they would simply pack their bags and say ‘’if you need that set up, do it yourself!’’ It would be like asking a builder to construct a never ending extension onto your house without a break. It would not be possible.

Cloud computing technology has allowed social media sites to have infinite scalability when it comes to its data storage and its accessibility. It can grow on demand and continue to meet the needs of its users without ever effecting its availability. There is no need to over complicate or over analyse that fact, it is clear that no matter what your business model the infinite scalability of your IT needs will benefit all involved.

Many businesses of all sizes are still dithering about the benefits that the cloud offers. With concerns about security, cost and compatibility delaying decisions. Many cloud providers spend countless hours providing proof of secure environments or countering misconceptions, rumours and myth. Perhaps we should simply ask them if their Board would like to achieve the same customer growth rates as YouTube or Facebook?

I firmly believe that the business migration to incorporate cloud computing is inevitable. The question of ‘’shall we’’ is no longer relevant, it must be ‘’when’’. What many decision makers may not realise is that 40% of employees are already using the cloud – without authorisation – for work purposes. This opens up risk and fuels many of the cloud based fear stories. This is not the fault of the cloud, nor is it the fault of the individual trying to work innovatively. It is a failure of the business to grasp the opportunity the cloud provides. So happy one zero YouTube, may you long continue to be a flag bearer for cloud computing and purveyor of all things cute falling off sofas.


Andy Croghan

Digital & Social Media Coordinator

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