The Gods Have SpokenJune 14, 2013 No Comments
Featured Article by Siamak Farah, CEO of InfoStreet
We live in very exciting times. We hear of innovations every day, some of which may be pivotal to our future. This is particularly true for technologies that companies select to offer to their customer base.
Most companies can’t afford to jump on just any bandwagon; rather, they have to choose where they invest their resources. In addition, the timing needs to be right. Move too soon, and you will be stuck with educating your market base about something they are totally unfamiliar with or simply don’t understand. Be conservative and move later, then the market will be saturated and you will look like a has-been, or at best a “me too” solution.
So while we have one ear to the ground to listen for what’s coming, we need to make a decision whether we will ride this train, or get run over by it.
There have been a few technological paradigm shifts in our lifetime: the introduction of personal computers, digital cameras, music players, and smartphones/tablets to name a few. Now, of course, the latest paradigm shift is in the introduction of cloud-based solutions.
To proponents, the cloud is here to stay and is changing how we use software on a day-to-day basis. The fact that the cloud provides anytime, anywhere access; gives the user relief from installing, maintaining, and upgrading software and hardware; is greener; revolutionizes capital expenditure by offering a pay-as-you-go model; and provides access to otherwise out-of-reach expertise makes it a no-brainer to this group.
However, there are those, especially the once bitten, twice shy crowd, that are looking for a sign from the Gods before they jump in wholeheartedly.
Well, the Gods have spoken!
Just recently news agencies enthusiastically reported the purchase of cloud provider SoftLayer by tech giant IBM. The interest that this acquisition has generated is very important because it strongly backs up the claim of the enduring longevity of the cloud. Support of this claim makes IBM’s purchase of SoftLayer important, not only to tech companies, but to the users of technology, small to medium businesses in particular.
IBM has been involved in the cloud for years with an offering that would mostly cater to their large corporate clients and has typically been unreachable to the average small or medium business. SoftLayer is a cloud product that offers virtual infrastructures for web and mobile developers with more that 20,000 customers in 140 countries. By purchasing SoftLayer, a multi-million company with a strong portfolio of existing SMBs, IBM has not only endorsed cloud technology, but they have also increased their viability as a cloud provider – all in one fell swoop. For IBM, buying an existing cloud solution created an Aristotelian approach where the whole is clearly larger than sum of its parts.
For most tech companies, establishing a rock-solid position as a cloud provider means selecting one of three options: build, acquire or adapt. In other words, they can build a new cloud solution from scratch in-house, partner with or buy an existing cloud solution, or alternatively adapt their existing offerings to the cloud. Tech companies have to analyze these options and decide which choice makes the most sense for their business.
Depending on the solution, building from scratch may or may not be viable. If it has a long build time it will miss the market window, unless you started years ago. Building is where true innovation has to compensate for being newest kid on the block. The late great Steve Jobs used to say that people don’t change the product they are using unless the new product is an order of magnitude better.
When it comes to adapting existing technologies, not all companies have the time, resources, market stamina or desire to justify altering their technology into a cloud solution, so acquiring an existing cloud solution is the most viable way for these companies to enter into the world of the cloud.
Sometimes, the acquisition is not just technology, but also the segment of the market, more like frosting on the cake. IBM’s acquisition of SoftLayer is such a case where buying was substantially more fruitful than building or adapting, both for the technology and the market segment.
There are also a number of companies that have decided to adapt vs. acquire. For example, Microsoft expanded their existing offering, Microsoft Office, into a cloud format, which they call Office 365. Office 365 gives users the ability to purchase one cloud account, under which they are given five cloud licenses to install the software on any devices they like. Users are then able to access their Word, Excel, and other Office files from anywhere via a cloud interface, and files can be shared with various collaborators. Because the Office Suite was already so well known by its target demographic, it made more sense for Microsoft to move their flagship product to the cloud rather than purchasing an existing cloud solution.
What is clear is that everyone is going to the cloud. Regardless of the approach taken by your cloud provider, it all translates to more choices, especially for small to medium businesses.
So now you have the option of going with the traditional solutions adapted to the cloud, those made just for the cloud and of course new innovations that are only possible because of the cloud. Any which way, the small to medium businesses are the winners!
Yes, the Gods have spoken.
Siamak Farah, CEO of InfoStreet
InfoStreet is a Cloud app provider that offers SkyDesktop, a free patent-pending Cloud Desktop; SkyAppMarket, an app marketplace where a business can choose from the best Cloud apps in the market; and SkySingleSignOn, a federated login solution and network management tool. Together they provide all the files and applications a company needs to run their business in the Cloud.
Try SkyDesktop and SkyAppMarket by visiting https://www.skydesktop.com or by calling 1-866-956-5051 for more information.