The Disruptive Cloud

Disruptive technology is a topic that has engaged me for many years. By disruptive, I mean a technology that either rapidly displaces an existing norm, rapidly creates a new norm, or rapidly “shakes up” an industry.


The key word here is rapid - often so rapid that nobody sees it coming. Email, social media and the iPhone are all great examples of technologies that have been hugely disruptive at one point in time.

Cloud technology takes the “rapid” nature of disruption to another level. If we think back 500 years or so, you would have to be a king, or of a similar stature, in order to make any changes on a global, national or even regional scale. More recently, perhaps in the last 100 years, the industrialists have had a similar effect. Today, anybody with a compelling cloud technology can touch a billion people in no time at all. I probably don’t need to point out Facebook as the obvious example here.

Hundreds of millions of pounds are being poured into a variety of cloud-based technologies, in the hope of finding the “next big thing”. Current high profile favourites include The Internet of Things, Mobile Payments and Wearables. My personal favourites are the collaborative platforms such as Slack, Periscope and, of course, Castrum.

Slack is a “deeply cool” cloud chat platform, aimed at business users rather than consumer users. Designed from day one as hugely collaborative, with integration to everything, it’s being widely touted as the long-awaited email killer. We use Slack at Castrum to great effect as a more social and intimate email replacement. Check it out at and see for yourself.

Periscope, now owned by Twitter, is an incredibly simple live video streaming platform. It lets anybody broadcast what they’re seeing, right now, in real-time from their smartphone. Simple to use and available for free on all popular mobile platforms, Periscope has built an incredible base of business and consumer users. It’s loved for its combination of absolute simplicity and immediacy. You can sign up at and start live broadcasting in about 5 minutes.

Castrum, our own disruptive cloud baby, focuses on capturing and sharing information on both sides of your corporate firewall, always in a highly secure environment. We’ve had great success in large organisations where legacy systems have restricted collaboration with partners, suppliers and customers due to their insular design. Castrum breaks through these boundaries, making information and processes available to all relevant parties with minimal IT headache and maximum user adoption. Take a closer look at and give me a call if you want to know more.

The next few years are going to be fascinating as we see some of the early technology favourites fading away, some growing exponentially and new ones appearing. Where will Castrum be in 12 months’ time? I think I know the answer - anybody fancy a bet?

Mark Brooks
Castrum CEO
+44 (0) 1202 835300