Back in March Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sent a message to all employees asking us to view the video of his talk to a group of students and faculty at the University of Washington to discuss how cloud computing will change the way people and businesses use technology.  You can view this video by going here.

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In his talk, Steve, outlined five dimensions that define the way people use and realize value in the cloud:

· The cloud creates opportunities and responsibilities

· The cloud learns and helps you learn, decide and take action

· The cloud enhances your social and professional interactions

· The cloud wants smarter devices

· The cloud drives server advances that drive the cloud

Why was I thinking about this last Friday night, when I first wrote this blog? 

First, it was the first opportunity I had to view the entire video (yes I have been derelict in my duties).

But second, I just returned from visits to a number of Utility companies. Interestingly, the five dimensions that Steve outlined above were common themes that permeated my conversations with customers!

Granted, Power & Utility companies have not always been the earliest adopters of new technologies but the drive towards the creation of the digital utility, the carbon economy transformation as well as the aging workforce all have direct links to the five dimensions.

This video is long, it’s over an hour, but it really is worth investing the time as there are some terrific demos can which can be extrapolated to Utility business problems like asset and knowledge management. But maybe most importantly, Steve delivers a terrific talk that challenges people to look at the cloud more broadly and helps them understand the multidimensional nature of the cloud transformation happening today and how it is going to change the way we live, work and play. – Jon C. Arnold