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Article

Why China Must Buy American Cloud Computing Technology

US & China Locked into Modern-Day MAD, But Should be Better Friends

I'm speaking to a group of Chinese IT execs in Beijing soon, on the topic of "China vs. US: Cloud Computing Roadmaps."

It occurred to me as I was putting my presentation together that this "versus" talk needs to be eliminated from our vocabulary. To be sure, the US and China are way allies and will continue to face numerous stress points, whether over trade, internal affairs, or China's location situation with Taiwan.

But the countries are now inextricably linked in a sort of finance-driven Mutual Assured Destruction, in which the nuclear missiles of the old USA-USSR rivalry have been replaced by US dollars and Chinese RMB.

It's time to be friends, maybe not BFFs, but as good a friends as possible. The world economy depends on it.

A main point I'm going to make to the audience in Beijing follows this syllogism:

  • The US economy will not recover unless it increases productivity and exports

  • The Chinese economy will not continue to grow unless it increases productivity and imports

  • Cloud Computing is the key to improved productivity today

  • The US has all of the leading Cloud technology vendors. (You can see most of them at Cloud Expo in New York in June, btw.)

  • The Chinese can therefore be patriotic to their nation by buying American Cloud technology...lots of it.

Oh my, the US economic problems are broad and deep, the end-result of decades of complacency and a zeitgeist that has more to do with regulating each other's behavior (of both the nanny state and police state varietals) than in creating jobs and working. I don't know if we can snap out of it.

I do know there's no hope if Cloud doesn't take root in a big way, both in the US and China. The countries, as the world's two largest economies, have a joint responsibility to find the right answer to the prisoner's dilemma and get the world back on its economic footing.

By aggressively moving to the Cloud, China will be able to keep swimming up the economic stream, creating a larger middle-class that will want to buy things. By aggressively moving to the Cloud, the US can re-leverage its smarts and start to create the 21st century economy it will need to survive. Exporting Cloud technology to China is a good way to start these dual positive-feedback loops.

Hey, Chinese consumers are buying every Buick--every piece of American Steel--they can lay their hands on. Time for the businesspeople to do the same with American Cloud.

For US technology vendors, this means going after a higher purpose than Vendor Lock-In 2.0 and outsourcing everything but the kitchen sink. For Chinese technology buyers, it means knocking off the endless search for free and "reverse engineered" solutions.

US and Chinese businesspeople in general should also remember that American consumers directly drive 17% of the global economy. Kill this golden goose and you'll cook the entire world's goose.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.