Why bother with Cloud computing? Why spend anytime researching what a virtual desktop is, or what’s so great about a hosted server? After all, all this ‘Cloud’ talk is just the latest IT flash in the pan. Right?
At one time SaaS (software as a service applications such as Salesforce) was all the rage and was touted as the way for businesses to triple profits, slash costs etc. And really this is just a cyclical thing isn't it ... where some one with a sales book figures they can brand and market all their old wares with today’s hottest buzzword. And so this is why IT services became known as ‘Cloud Services’, and software became ‘Cloud Software’ etc. Well while there’s some truth in this, I think we need to dig a little deeper to get a fuller picture.
That the introduction of the railroad had a massive impact upon society and commerce is a given. That said, the real disruptive socio-economic shift came about as a result of the railroad time-table. In other words it wasn’t the technology so much as how individuals and organisations conceived of and conducted their affairs on the basis of the availability of the technology that produced the seismic shift in the order of so many things.
Now let’s consider whether cloud computing represents a similar phenomenon? I think it does, but it's more difficult to observe right now due to the fragmentation of economic endeavor. The core o-threat (opportunity threat) I see lies not with the proliferation of Cloud services, as this will be driven in large part due to price wars between old empire and new democracies. Rather it is whether organisations will move beyond simply consuming cloud services to drive cost efficiencies into existing operations - to a space where cloud as a concept is perceived as the 2.0 timetable and the necessary creative destruction of existing business models and competitive advantage this implies
So while you may not care for the engineering impact of the Cloud – you’d do well to start garnering a healthy respect for the qualitative impact it will have on the development of new business models across industry, and the inescapable intensity of competition this will bring about as a result.
It’s true that there are differing views out there right now about public clouds versus private clouds or the best route being a hybrid cloud. To me this argument focuses only on what will be the most expedient way to drive Cloud services adoption in the short term, and not on how Irish enterprise will use adoption of cloud services to refine it's business models and expand the geographical and economic territories they perceive themselves to operate in and be influenced by.
No matter what the industry, if Irish enterprise can lead the use of cloud services then this experience is itself a raw material to be productized and exported.
At Lets Operate we believe that business needs to move beyond timid adoption of Cloud Computing as a better way to keep doing the same thing. Business needs to recognize the Cloud’s potential to fundamentally reshape the model underpinning the business itself, as well as the expectations of future customers in those markets within which the business hopes to compete in. Next time we’ll take a closer look at how to build you business successfully in the Cloud.