Catching Fish with Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing enables a business to dream, to experiment, to take on the world. But how many of us really understand the potential?
The 19th century industrialists, when offered electricity as a service for the first time, could only see how their lathes could be made to run more reliably, cheaply and safely - they would not have been able to begin to see the possibilities utility power would bring them. Even basics like lighting to run extra shifts would have eluded them at first. Today we are faced with the same challenge: what will we able to do when we really begin to harness the benefits that Cloud computing brings?
It is becoming increasingly apparent that Cloud Computing can no longer be ignored by any business. There are many drivers to its adoption, and many different implementations ranging from self-managed on-premise facilities to publicly available software and infrastructure services.
Like many disruptive technologies, Cloud Computing has had its fair share of critics, and a lot of energy has been spent in pointless discussions about what is Cloud and what is not. Many businesses have looked at Cloud for cost savings, or turning capital expenditure into operating expenditure or as a means of coping with fluctuating computing power requirements.
What makes Cloud Computing truly compelling is that it enables business to focus on what really matters to them. Every business has a Unique Selling Proposition, a core reason for being in business. Usually computer systems and infrastructure get much attention because they are high-risk and complex factors, but rarely are they the core reason a business exists.
One simple illustration of this concept may help: before email, business usually had to compromise on how many prospects they could reach directly. Their choices involved issues of cost and scaling; the outsourcing phone calls usually results in a diluted message. But with email, businesses only need concern themselves with the messaging - they could ignore issues of how many of their prospects or customers to reach, and focus on the things that most matter.
Another example - imagine starting a fishing business with one boat and one net. How big a boat? How big a net should you buy? Should you invest heavily just in case you come across a 500 tonne school of fish, or go for something smaller, realizing that the large school will get away? Cloud Computing is like being able to buy a boat and net that elastically grows while at sea if you come across a large school.
Cloud Computing provides businesses with the freedom to be remarkable. Like the 19th century industrialists who were offered electricity as a service for the first time, we can only begin to imagine the possibilities of what Cloud Computing will bring when we start to focus on the possibilities and not the technology.
Alan Perkins: ACCA Board member and RackSpace Director of Product and Technology for APAC
About the Asia Cloud Computing Association
The Association, launched in November 2010, is a forum for hardware and software developers, carriers, enterprise users, policy makers, and researchers. We drive the adoption of cloud computing in Asia by addressing regional issues of regulation and policy, security infrastructure and awareness As the only forum focused on cloud computing issues in Asia, The Association is a place for collaboration and innovation for all stakeholders with an interest in Asia’s cloud market.