a central point for collection of information as it relates to cloud computing in the government
Cloud Computing COMMENTARY
February 11, 2011 at 1:06 pm #122857
Although the “article” is posted in the News Section
What If We’d Never Heard Of Cloud Computing?
Which of the cloud’s many incarnations — software as a service, platform as a service, and others — should we care about?
Marketers never cease to amaze me. They’ll get you interested in buying a Volkswagen because they showed you a kid in a Darth Vader suit having a happy moment because the car has remote ignition. Never mind that Cadillac and others have had the feature for years — it’s a good ad, so VW gets some love. Thankfully, there’s no Super Bowl for IT advertising, GoDaddy notwithstanding. But if there were, you can bet the vast majority of ads would somehow hint at the cloud-ification of everything.
Here’s a thought: What if we’d never invented the term? Which of the many and various incarnations of cloud would we care about then? This idea occurred to me while hearing about new facilities under construction by Vantage Data Centers. The company offers hosting, and gives only a passing mention to cloud in its presentation, saying it’ll be a $68 billion market in a few years — at least according to Gartner. Though I suspect Gartner’s definition is ridiculously broad, Vantage makes no claim to be a cloud provider. More on Vantage in a bit, but first, here’s how I see a cloudless world for established companies (not startups), with a little help from InformationWeek Analytics data.
February 11, 2011 at 1:09 pm #122859
A followup blog from the Looks Cloudy websitehttp://www.lookscloudy.com/2011/02/how-old-are-your-customers/
Their age will correspond to their behavior with regard to adopting cloud computing. Or at least that’s the claim that Art Wittman seems to makes in his InformationWeek blog today, as he asks “what if we’d never heard of cloud computing?” Here’s a quote:
“If you’re a 20-something and want a pool and gym, you live in an apartment complex that has them. If you’re a 40-something, you put a pool in your backyard and have a few cocktails, causing the desire for a gym to pass pretty quickly.“
Insofar as we can agree that the premise underlying cloud computing is “shared resources,” the key here is that younger = more willing to share and older = less willing to share.
You could say that a “younger” company might be willing to share important resources, where an “older” one might be less willing to. As everyone in the channel works to crack the code, to translate shared IT resources into solutions for business problems, to determine the real business case and market opportunity for various cloud solutions, this simplification may just help to point us in the right direction. Older companies will want less and fewer cloud solutions than younger ones.
So, how do you figure out whether your customers’ businesses are “young” or “old?” Is this just about the age of the business itself? Or is it more about the age of the human decision makers within that business? Maybe it’s both. We’re looking at yet another quadrant-type-thing, but I’ll spare you the diagram. You don’t need it.
If the business itself is young and new, shared resources will be appealing because the cost to get started is lower. Cash poor startup businesses are a dime a dozen; the business case is clear here. If the business itself is older, shared resources may be less appealing because you’ll have legacy technology investments to integrate with, legacy technology expectations that usually don’t include shared resources, and legacy spending numbers to stack up against.
If the business’ humans are younger, shared resources will appeal not only because of the apartment analogy above (also about barriers to entry, or costs to get started) but also because the younger generation is far more “native” to web-based and hosted technologies. Today’s 25 year old has been using the internet all of her life. If the business’ humans are older, well, they’re generally going to be less trusting of web-based technologies and look at business technology from an “I want to own it” perspective.
If the business is old but the people are young (or vice versa), well it could really go either way. But you’ll generally do better with younger people in an older business than you will with older people in a young business.
I think the logical conclusion here is that you can waste a lot of time pitching cloud services to a customer that might just be too “old” to be willing to share their IT. So take some time to figure out how old your customers are and save yourself a lot of wasted sales effort.
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