Cloud computing will top the Internet in importance as development of the Web continues, according to a university professor who spoke on Friday at the World Future Society conference in Boston.
While those who developed the Internet had a clear vision and the power to make choices about the road it would take -- factors that helped shape the Web -- Georgetown University professor Mike Nelson wondered during a panel discussion whether the current group of developers possesses the foresight to continue growing the Internet.
"In the mid-90s there was a clear conscience about what the Internet was going to be," he said. "We don't have as good a conscience as we did in the '90s, so we may not get there."
While a vision of the Internet's future may appear murky, Nelson said that cloud computing will be pivotal. "The cloud is even more important than the Web," he said.
Cloud computing will allow developing nations to access software once reserved for affluent countries. Small businesses will save money on capital expenditures by using services such as Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud to store and compute their data instead of purchasing servers.
Sensors will start to appear in items such as lights, handheld devices and agriculture tools, transmitting data across the Web and into the cloud.