Welcome to the future! The future of humanity and the future of publishing.
I am very excited about my new book Entering the Shift Age and the new model of publishing Sourcebooks has created, the Agile Publishing Model (APM). The APM is an innovative platform that allows authors to make their content available faster and in a more flexible format. For example, to suit your needs and interests as readers, Sourcebooks offers a variety of ways to purchase the content of Entering the Shift Age, either in individual parts (“mini eBooks”) or as a whole. (Check out “How to Purchase: The Agile Way”.) You can learn more about the APM by watching the video below.
This is part of the future of publishing. Now let’s turn toward our own future, the future of humanity.
We now live in the Shift Age, a time of transformation that will be regarded by future historians as one of the most significant periods in human history. The Shift Age is one of those inflection points or times when much of humanity will change how we live, how we think, how we interact with each other and what we do.
What people miss is that it is not the technology and the features – 3G, 4G, this much RAM, that many gigahertz –, it is the power that the technology gives to us, to our customers, to our competitors that is important. I have called this “power to the people”. For example, a CEO of a global corporation can, with good bandwidth and one or two app phones or a tablet, run her company for a day from a park bench. That is the power behind the device.
The key thing to focus on, whenever there is some breakthrough device is just that: what power it gives to the user and what effect this new power may have on existing structures, business models, modes of communication, or information dissemination—all of which deeply affect every aspect of our lives.
Cloud computing has left its infancy and is firmly in rapid growth mode. All aspects of our digital lives are now in or moving to “the Cloud”. Very simply this is the migration of data from one or one’s company’s servers and storage facilities to a remote server or servers. Through the use of shared storage facilities, companies and individuals can have ready access to vast amounts of data, software, programs, photos, videos and all forms of digital files. Storage costs drop, backing up data becomes automatic and access can be from anywhere. Cloud computing is an accelerant to the move to mobile computing as it allows people to instantly access vast amounts of data via portable devices that have limited storage. One could think of a tablet as a window to the clouds. Again we are freed up from a place and can access vast amounts of data with the small mobile devices we carry with us. The cloud is always available to us, wherever we might be.
Cloud computing is also an accelerant to global collaboration as people from multiple time zones can collaborate in real time to work on the same document or project. This of course further accelerates the speed of business, the immediacy of interaction and the evisceration of place.
Since the cloud and cyberspace in general will be the space where there will be future conflicts and crime, it will always be good to have a secure physical back up of one’s most critically important digital files. There will be incidences in the future of wide scale attacks on the cloud and even though security in the cloud is in most cases superior to standard firewalls, there will be incidences of systems and services being taken down from time to time.
Cloud computing will be ubiquitous by 2015. It is in fact a core ingredient of some of the other technological trends that follow.