|By Treff LaPlante||
|September 5, 2009 01:00 PM EDT||
Historically, when we take something complex and make it simple, we open up all sorts of opportunities for value. Think about the changes that happened once the Web made it simpler to buy goods and services. Consider how mobile phones and text messaging have empowered us to communicate faster and more frequently. And consider what the word processor, e-mail and spreadsheets have done for individual productivity.
Cloud computing is a lot like each of these three revolutions in that it greatly reduces the complexity of otherwise technically challenging issues. In so doing, it empowers a much larger group of individuals to address those issues.
In a cloud environment, time and money will no longer be spent performing routine administrative tasks, writing complex systems or networking code, which, though necessary, didn't directly bring value. Instead, that same time will be devoted to value-added tasks, such as analyzing business processes, building customized software functionality or integrating with powerful third-party Web services.
Before, if you wanted to accomplish highly technical tasks you needed a highly technical person. But for every one of those, there are a thousand other people who, in a cloud-computing environment, likely will be able get the job done. This commoditizes work that previously was almost an art form, full of problems and billed at professional rates.
A great example is Amazon's S3 network. It makes the task of storing and serving data files fast and easy. Rather than spending weeks and months writing and optimizing code to properly manage large data files, we spent just hours and now send those large data files straight to Amazon. We get better quality, lower costs, near-unlimited scalability and, best of all, it saved a lot of time. With the time and money we saved, we can now build better software. What productivity gains will our customers enjoy because we built better software with the time and money we saved leveraging the cloud? What will our customers, in turn, do with their newfound productivity?
The cloud is about empowerment, and it accomplishes this by reducing complexity. It hides the complicated stuff behind easy interfaces, thereby making its functionality available to legions of people who otherwise may not have been able to work with it directly.
Imagine if just one of your team members, the "spreadsheet guy" for example, suddenly had the power to build, customize, deploy and manage powerful software solutions that automate your entire company? How much money would you save? How much time and frustration would you save? How would your business or department benefit? That's the promise of cloud computing.
Visit the gadget cube for these posts in the next four weeks:
Week 1: Cloud Computing Adoption
Week 3: Hardware scaling in the cloud
Week 4: Software flexibility in the cloud
Week 5: Time and Cost Reductions in the cloud
Originally posted at The Central Penn Business Journal Gadget Cube
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