I received a telephone call last week from a surveyor who said “I cannot send you my letter by email because our server is down. Do you have a fax number?”

I had to explain that it is many years since I have had a fax. (Fax technology is now more than 100 years old. It was invented by the British in the First World War to send maps of trenches back to command HQ – a process that took over 24 hours per foolscap sheet.)

The surveyor that called me had to use the post instead: coincidentally, it took the same time to arrive as a 1916 World War I Fax!

It occurred to me that blaming a server for lack of performance is also rapidly becoming a thing of the past as Cloud Services have expanded so rapidly. This is particularly important for email services which is one of the primary functions of business computer systems.

Cloud services have expanded rapidly over the last six years as the following graph from the Cloud Industry Forum demonstrates:

It appears that it will not be too long before company servers are extinct as all services move to the Cloud.

This is likely to improve the speed, affordability and flexibility of computing services and make it possible for smaller companies to compete with larger competitors and scale-up their systems as their business grows.