Answer: We should all embrace it but tread carefully, says Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

 

A credible opinion

Officially he is a computer scientist, but unofficially Steve Wozniak is best known as the man who created the Apple Computer company with Steve Jobs in 1976.

His opinions on new technology are listened to around the world as he tours the speakers’ circuit and, when it comes to cloud computing, he has firm views on how quickly organisations should adopt it.

Wozniak says switching instantly to the cloud might be right for some organisations looking to offer employees new products and methods of working, but he urges caution.

“Great care should be exercised in introducing new ways of doing business. A healthy company will have development, adaptation and innovation as key elements of its five year plan but revenues and profits must be protected.

"Innovation should be introduced in stages,” he says. “By offering new products to your employees as options they will gradually become the standard.”

 

Caution with cloud computing

He feels that IT departments must find a balance between focusing on innovation and on maintaining systems and think carefully about how they work with cloud service providers. 

Wozniak also says that the partnership announced in July between Apple and IBM could transform enterprise mobility through a new class of business apps as more organisations do move to the cloud. The deal leverages IBM’s cloud expertise and opens up the business market for Apple.

You used to ask a smart person a difficult question but now you ask someone whose name starts with “Go” and it’s not God. We didn’t create the internet as a brain replacement but that’s how it turned out, by accident

“In the modern mobile world, enterprise productivity is being greatly enhanced by mobile internet connected devices where Apple is king,” he says. “The IBM connection legitimises Apple to enterprise customers who have avoided the brand since the days of the DOS/Macintosh battles. But it’s not that simple because these enterprise customers have become dependent on the tools they use, which are generally in the PC space, although this is changing.”

Wozniak has seen many evolutions in computer technology and the speed of change shows no sign of slowing down as the cloud increases in popularity.

 

So will computers eventually replace humans at the top of the evolutionary food chain?

“I used to scorn at the idea of computers processing as much information as the human brain but then I changed my mind,” he says. “You used to ask a smart person a difficult question but now you ask someone whose name starts with “Go” and it’s not God. We didn’t create the internet as a brain replacement but that’s how it turned out, by accident. You can draw your own conclusions as to what the future will bring.”

Steve Wozniak is joining Adam Messinger, CTO of Twitter; Arne Jofesberg, CIO of GoDaddy and Peter Coffee, VP Strategic Research at Salesforce at the Canadian Cloud Council’s Interzone conference next March in Banff, Canada.

The Canadian Cloud Council is planning on expanding into Europe and launching a London Interzone event in the fall of 2015.