The Swedish got it right when making a meal out of something. Instead of the meat and three vege they decided to invent something called a Smörgåsbord, a choice of several dishes served at once in a buffet style for a fixed price. This kind of dining became popular not only in Europe but around the world, offering a wide variety of choice while providing exceptional value.
I liken this to where cloud computing is today. Recently I have been working with a few businesses who had previously had to build their own systems around what they required involving great cost and a level of commitment. Think of turning up to a restaurant having pre-ordered a steak, only to look at the menu and decide you want the duck… Sometimes changing your mind isn’t restricted to what you feel like for dinner, in business too things may not end up where you thought they would when you set out.
Cloud computing is the smörgåsbord of Information Technology. For a low price and usually at a per user per month billing cycle you are able to pick and choose from a range of products from a number of suppliers. Most technologists refer to this trend as being the “consumerization” of IT, technology which was once restricted to those who could afford to deploy it is now available to the masses. With scale comes economy, most cloud platforms today are built from the ground up with scale in mind. Provisioning and billing being the cornerstones of any good cloud service, making it simple and fast for a customer to deploy the software and once deployed even easier to pay for what they use. More importantly this means one thing… its going to get cheaper.
The sheer number of cloud offerings on the market are impressive, you name it, and it’s probably hosted in the cloud. One example is websites, I am definitely NOT a programmer by any short stretch of the imagination and never have been. The last time I wrangled with any code was back in school with Basic, Pascal and Assembler being the main languages used, nowdays you have even more choice, ASP.Net, VB, C++, C#, PHP etc to name a few. HTML is the language of the web and another language I am not brave enough to spend any amount of time understanding. Thank god then for my “cloud service of the week”, I discovered www.wix.com through a friend and found it unbelievably easy to stand up and design a website. And I am not talking a simple website, this website was able to have animations, embedded video and even a e-commerce plug-in if I so desired. Within an hour I had something that resembled something of what my client wanted and gave us something to build from, and I didn’t see one piece of HTML. More importantly I was then able to hand it over to my customer to allow him to publish his own content, keeping his website/brand current and relevant. This really rang true what value I saw in the cloud computing movement, something that was simple to use, fast to deploy and very very cheap when compared to building it yourself.
The pick ‘n’ mix of technology is upon us, go ahead and make a pig of yourself!