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Cloud Computing Adoption - Part 2 of 5

Reduced complexity/increased empowerment in the cloud

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

More Stories By Treff LaPlante

Treff LaPlante has been involved with technology for nearly 20 years. At WorkXpress, he passionately drives the vision of making customized enterprise software easy, fast, and affordable.

Prior to joining WorkXpress, Treff was director of operations for eBay's HomesDirect. While there, he created strategic relationships with Fortune 500 companies and national broker networks and began his foray into the development of flexible workflow software technologies. He served on the management team that sold HomesDirect to eBay.

During his time at Vivendi-Universal Interactive, Treff was director of strategy. In addition to M&A activities, Treff broadly applied quantitative management principles to sales, marketing, and product line functions. Treff served as the point person for the management team that sold Cendant Software to Vivendi-Universal. Earlier positions included product management and national sales trainer for Energy Design Systems, an engineering software company. Treff began his professional career as a metals trader for Randall Trading Corp, a commodities firm that specialized in bartering and transporting various metals and coal from the then-dissolving Soviet Union.

Treff received his MBA from Pepperdine University and a BS in chemical engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. http://www.workxpress.com