By Craig Sowell
Cloud computing is changing the way we live and do business. From how we enjoy music and movies to how we speed our transportation. Just look at how cloud is enabling innovation for Drivewyze, a company that provides a service for truckers that is comparable to the E-ZPass electronic toll-collection system available in 14 states from Indiana to Massachusetts.
But instead of speeding up congestion at tollbooths, Drivewyze enables truckers to avoid lengthy stops at the weigh stations where commercial truckers are required to check in. What makes this possible is enabling tablets, smartphones, or other in-cab devices with transponder-like functionality provided by the cloud.
In a very real sense, cloud provides the platform that supports the reach, speed and scale required by the rise of mobile, social and Big Data.
The cloud essentially provides access to power and capabilities that are otherwise inaccessible. We see this in enterprises that essentially eliminate the compute boundaries of their data centers, or those that access the new services required to rapidly compile and process data. The benefits of cloud all come down to access – services and capabilities placed at the fingertips of business and IT users. When this happens, the way people work, as well as the relationship between individuals and their enterprises, is transformed.
A pattern we’ve seen emerging from successful cloud adoptions such as Drivewyze is the presence of two key factors, which you might think of as the yin and yang of cloud. The first factor is the reinvention of key business processes, revealed through a transformation at the user level. When cloud is adopted in a meaningful way, users become more productive and customers engage at a richer, deeper level.
The second factor is the emergence of a new breed of designers and developers who are enabled by truly “intelligent cloud platforms” that allow for the creation of composable cloud services. In other words, services can be drawn from any manner of partner and provider with little regard for traditional boundaries. This newfound creative freedom enables developers to create new applications and services.
Think about the marketer who can now, thanks to cloud computing, access vast pools of real-time data generated by her firm’s demand generation activities. Imagine the marketer’s ability to search and identify a predefined campaign performance service that leverages cloud-based resources to quickly process that data. The marketer is thus empowered to make rapid strategic decisions about marketing investments. This ability to “compose” by the user, based on a catalog of cloud services, is truly revolutionary.
Of course, the business user transformation requires an orchestration of creative developers and intelligent platforms. To a developer, the cloud platform becomes a palette of sorts. With a powerful set of resources and best practices, developers can focus on creating unique interactions that engage and stimulate the actions of end users and customers.
If you’d like to discuss this further, join my colleague, Ric Telford, for a Facebook chat on cloud computing this Friday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET.