If 2010 was the year of cloud computing that means 2011 is the year we’ll actually start using it in earnest.  That further means 2011 will be the year that cloud computing lets us down.  Everything in IT fails eventually, though the big myth is that won’t happen with cloud computing.  Hogwash.

We haven’t seen a cloud virus or a cloud trojan — yet — but we will.  Imagine what would happen if the cloud became a zombie.  It is only a matter of time.

There’s also the issue of what happens when some cloud service goes out of service permanently?  These are startups, remember, and a good percentage of startups fail.  Some cloud computing outfit is going to quickly and quietly shut down, taking with it the data (business, photos, video, memories, etc.) of tens of thousands of users.  Once we’re storing everything in the cloud, what’s to keep us from losing everything in the cloud?

And in the short term we’re going to also see a lot of cloud screw-ups.  Apple, for example, is taking back from Akamai control of iTunes distribution, which is fine except early reports say they aren’t doing a very good job. Their new system isn’t respecting DNS and Apple is too stupid or arrogant to realize it.  This leads us to Apple’s peculiar failing in the cloud space, which is that Steve Jobs wants to own it in his own way.

Steve loves it when Apple rolls its own.  So Apple didn’t buy some Content Distribution Network or a little company with real expertise in this area — Steve just handed it to a couple very good engineers who — other than being very smart — had no background in the subject.  Steve loves to do that, but unfortunately it leads to problems as often as it does to brilliance.  They’ll work it out I’m sure, but for now understand that we’re in the very early cloud years with lots of mischief yet to come.