Growing up as a young boy, I often wandered off to remote bushes, gardens, hills in our neighborhood.
With the other boys, we were filled with the spirit of adventure to explore strange new worlds that were previously unknown to us. We didn’t care much for super or lunch because we were hunters and gatherers much like our ancient ancestors.
We climbed mango trees and feasted on jack fruits that were left to rot in the gardens. When I got home, mum always wondered why I wouldn’t be much interested in her food.
While we were not afraid of wild beasts, ferocious snakes and venomous insects, we never ever touched or approached giant some peculiar steel structures we found in the bushes.
The giant pylons bore a placard on which was written a label a with clear warning. It was attached to giant steel structure on which hung long aluminum power wires.The sign read “Hatari, Kabi, Danger”. Three well spaced words in three different languages that meant the same thing.
We later came to know that these giant pylons carried energy upon which our very livelihood depended on. These high voltage power lines kept hospitals running, they powered the textile industry which my dad worked in, they kept schools lite at night so kids would study.
These power lines were a utility. And it’s when we grew a little older that we understood the significance of the warning that was inscribed on them.
Fast forward to today, the cloud has become to my generation what the giant pylons were in my Dad’s generation.
The cloud is a metaphor that’s become synonymous to remote giant always-on computers connected to the internet. We’ve come to rely on them majorly through our internet-connected smartphones and laptops to send emails, store our files and documents so that we can have the liberty to work or play from anywhere, anytime using any device.
My Dad would have a bit of hard time understanding that family photos are saved in the “cloud” on services such as Dropbox or Instagram. He would particularly have trouble reconciling the physical meaning of “clouds” that he’s come to know as rain-giving condensed air to bits and bytes storing user data.
But whenever I visit him upcountry with smartphone, and show him photos I’ve been taking with my smartphone or when I instantly share shots with my bro back in the city, the idea of the cloud begins to click. He immediately realizes that there’s an intermediary shared storage that permits file sharing between my smartphone and my bro’s iPad back in the city. He begins to see the data cloud in play.
But what would trip my Dad even more is the fact that I could work even while on a visit upcountry. That’s because when he worked in a textile industry, he always needed to be physically present in the office or production line in order to work. More so, my Dad always carried huge box files with lots of paperwork from and to his work place.
But in the information age which we now live in, it’s become cumbersome to store data in papers. Data is bits and bytes stored in your smartphone memory card or the cloud. That means data conveniently goes with you or you can easily retrieve it whenever you need it with internet access.
HatariCloud carries our perceived vision of how and what work needs to look like in my generation. HatariCloud isn’t just another cloud. We like to think of it as a utility cloud for individuals and businesses.
The idea that data, software tools shouldn’t be always locked up in the office, but should find you wherever you are is yet to sink in many corporations minds.
The [legitimate] excuse especially here in Africa has been that internet is both expensive and slow making working offline both cheap and productive. However, the real reason has been motivated by fear and also the inertia that most businesses have to adopt new way of doing things. Fear that the cloud would let them lose control of their data, making them vulnerable to malicious individuals prowling the interwebs.
But my work or how we work at Dignited so far has more than convinced me that the future of work and play is ultimately going to be the cloud.
We have managed to use the cloud to our advantage. To be more productive, lean and accountable. We have been Ninjas at using cloud tools such as Email, Google Docs, Dropbox, Slack, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and other custom tools we have built for ourselves. Being a small internet-based start-up, we’ve used to cloud to effectively communicate, collaborate and work remotely.
Today we are launching HatariCloud, a window into the future. We especially hope that we shall be able to create innovative products that will make individuals and local businesses operate more effectively and effeciently in the information age. Join us in our new quest.
Image source: wikimedia.org/