Using “Cloud” as a verb

I saw part of a twitter exchange between Joe Baguley and Steve Chambers yesterday where the former mentioned that he had seen that the word “Cloud” was being used increasingly as a verb. For example, someone might say that they want to “cloud an application”.

Using nouns as verbs is sometimes referred to as “verbing” but in other places it is also known as “functional shift”. Shakespeare used functional shift from time to time so surely it can’t be wrong?

Think of the phrase “cloud the issue“. You might even have used it before (I have). In such a context cloud is used as a verb. My issue with using cloud as a verb in an IT context however is that the word is synonymous with: blur, obfuscate, distort, perplex and puzzle. These are not words and concepts that I’d want associated with cloud computing when talking with business owners.

Michael is a Senior Consultant for Xtravirt. If it's got buttons or flashy lights on it then it'll probably be on his radar. When not "mending computers" (it's sometimes easier than explaining "cloud" to relatives), Michael provides essential education, entertainment and trampoline services to his two children.


  1. says

    It’s popular amongst our American cousins to ize nouns into verbs. I’m sure you have heard monetize and productize. Sounds particularly jarring to English (UK) ears!

  2. mpoore says

    Indeed, I’ve used both of those (and more) before. In this profession you get used to them eventually.

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