Sao Paulo, Brazil has had trouble with both energy and water supplies as of late. Despite it is the rainy period. Unfortunately Sao Paulo is very dependent on its rain as a majority of its power is generated from large dams. No water, no energy. Difficult situation for a city of some 20 million people.
A friend living in Sao Paulo called and said – today we all had to leave work. Why I asked? There was not enough water in the building to flush toilets. About a hundred people did not go to work. Oh how we take some things for granted in every day “processes“. When they fail, we have instant trouble of a grand scale.
What does this have to do with cloud computing? Well, I believe cloud computing can be compared to what we take for granted today – like running water and energy. You flip the switch, the light comes on, right? What if that did not happen? What if you did not have power at your office tomorrow? If you even went to your office that day, your processes would change quickly and dramatically. Paper and pen would be a hard currency!
The same goes for cloud computing. While it is in its infancy – you need to make sure it is accessible to all those that can benefit. The higher up in your organization you allow for cloud computing access and resources – the more you will see processes change. Your project manager sets up 15 machines over five countries in two minutes during the meeting for a new project. Before the project lead called the IT department and waited two weeks to get started – if they could even comply. How we run projects that are dependent on various IT-resources – will change dramatically. As cloud computing as a whole gets more mature (weather private or public) you can rest assure that your company can now improve processes around the organization to become much more efficient. Cloud computing will soon be a basis for our everyday processes and without it you will lose ground to your competitors. Innovation will become dependent on these tools. In each corner of your company you will see people think differently as details of each process can evolve and be done in a whole new way. A more efficient way.
Unfortunately – today it is still very difficult. You must have all kinds of education around market leader Amazon AWS – to even grasp the extreme possibilities that it opens up. The fact that you need so much knowledge tells you something about its complexity! Too complex for it to find its way up the organization. It is built for large company IT-departments or tech savvy startups. Unless improving usability – it will be limited to those parts of your company. It too will help innovation – but as long as it stays there – it will mostly be efficiencies around how you support the organization – not transforming it. Even understanding billing is a chore today.
This leaves plenty of space for startups and Digital Ocean has already attacked one side – simplicity for developers. However there is more to be done for the general IaaS providers when it comes to ease of use – throughout the offering. If we can make sure it can be utilized higher and higher we will see it seep into processes we could have not earlier imagined. With that comes a complete change of how we think and creation of a better basis for innovation in how we perform tasks of today and the future.
Ease of use is not just a problem for AWS – but rather something most IaaS providers are struggling with. It is the same dilemma as with any online service – as you add more products and features – it becomes more complex. This complexity risks losing some or a large part of the potential of cloud computing services. Not only will we see more targeted solutions and offerings for particular verticals but also companies that will make ease of use a big unique selling point.
If we continue to focus on making sure a larger part of the organization can benefit from cloud computing – we will allow it to be the game changer it truly can be. Your competitors are working hard to make sure innovation comes naturally and broadly. Are you?
Leave your comments below as to how you encourage innovation in your organization and how you see cloud computing affecting the possibilities.
By Johan Christenson