Marwan al-Husayni *
The Wikipedia entry under “Cloud Computing” states that this term “refers to the delivery of computing and storage capacity as a service to a heterogeneous community of end-recipients. The name comes from the use of clouds as an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it contains in system diagrams. Cloud computing entrusts services with a user’s data, software and computation over a network.”
According to the same entry, “Cloud Computing” is powerful because it allows “enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance.” It also “relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence.”
I am fond of “Cloud Computing”. I do not have to carry my laptop, an external drive or a USB flash with me wherever I go. I can reach my documents, photos, videos and music files using any available computer or Smartphone.
Another reason for this passion is that I can use hundreds of applications and software which are residents on worldwide and easy-to-reach servers. I do not have to install any application on each device to use it. The idea of shared resources adds to this affection.
The strength of “Cloud Computing” stems from the fact that one is connected all the time to what matters him or her most. Using the best and more efficient software and tools encourages everybody to more giving. “Cloud Computing” makes life easier, accessible and productive.
In our daily life and exchanges amid the chaotic nature of the Arab sphere, I think we are in a dire need to what I call “Cloud Governance”. Why is this linkage between chaos and technological environment? What am I talking about since we have e-governments?
When thinking of Arab governments, I fail to find an obvious link between them and meritocracies. Standards are absent when it comes to managing public sphere, services and government related institutions. Almost everything is managed in a personal manner. This is most apparent when a new government is installed. The nature of its premier and his personal affiliations determine the dominating performance of his team.
I’d like to think of “Cloud Government” as meritocracy based servers which are efficient hardware that guarantee smooth and professional movement of processes. Cloud applications are the standards that make sure a plan or act be performed in a just and proficient manner. Add to this, freedom and equality of access apply to all.
Regardless of their bloodlines, religions, cultural backgrounds and political views, all people under this “Cloud Government” have equal opportunities to share applications in a coherent way. They are not burdened anymore by their personal applications. The “Cloud System” itself offers them access to its own smart-designed and smart-managed customizable tools. Thus, everyone has his own share in building and sustaining a powerful and diverse community.
The idea of “Cloud Governance” will stay incomplete if it does not have space for individual creativity within a context of smart standardization. Every individual has the chance to participate in the daily networking of group thinking, planning and production through using various applications in the cloud.
This is not a call to more web visibility for governments. The concept of e-governments in the Arab region is mistakenly interpreted into mere web presence. Hundreds of governmental websites contain forms, documents, photos, videos and news. Yet, there is no action. No life runs through the wires which lead to these governmental static servers.
Decision makers need an instance of “Cloud Thinking” to direct their focus towards creating a suitable environment for productive actions. They need to view standards as main applications and meritocracies as main servers.
Citizenship, Justice, Civil Freedoms, Participation and Respect are few devices that should guarantee a healthy and speed access to “Cloud Governance” servers. Law should be the main browser by which everyone reaches standard applications, files and rights.
* Media Strategist, Interfaith and Intercultural specialist