There are a number of concepts in the tech sector that can be difficult to describe to those unfamiliar with the jargon. ?The cloud? is one of them. The best way I?ve found is to draw an analogy with the 1999 smash hit The Matrix, and its unnecessary, bloated sequels.

Comment: Head in the Cloud

You know that scene where a po-faced Trinity downloads the knowledge to fly a helicopter directly into her nut, then sprints over to the cockpit with all the confidence of an RAF veteran?

Essentially, what she’s doing there is accessing the software she needs remotely, subscribing to the license on a rental basis, and enjoying immediate access to what she needs, without having to install (learn) anything. Which is the same as what Microsoft will be doing this year with its Office software. Though presumably without the leather outfits.

The proliferation of the cloud, or whatever other term you choose to employ for programmes accesses through the web, will understandably worry retailers that sell a lot of boxed product software. But it has to be said software isn’t quite the driver it once was for independents – and there are numerous ways they can make money out of subscription models running in tandem with vendor’s offerings.

The truth is both disties and vendors are investing megabucks into making software available directly online, so it will become a bigger deal regardless of whether anyone thinks it is a good idea. The key, like any significant change, is to adapt to rather than rigidly oppose.

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.” That was Bruce Lee, who probably wasn’t specifically talking about the indicative plight of bricks and mortar retailers combating a changing buying culture within the UK IT industry, but words of wisdom none the less.

Mind you, he’s also quoted as saying “You can never invite the wind, but you must leave the window open,” which just goes to show there are limits to the tangible advice of faux-philosophers.

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