The cloud is not just about flexibility of access to compute power and storage and bandwidth, or about avoiding the thankless tasks of software installations, maintenance and upgrades; mobile is not just about ubiquity of access; cloud and mobile, together, are not just about the ability to “shift time” and “shift space”; social is not just about getting closer to the customer, about valuing relationships and capabilities; open is not just about the transformation of innovation, about partnering, about collaboration across boundaries.
The cloud paradigm is about all of this.
And about one more thing.
The capacity to change. Designed as an integral function. Native.
Changing capacity, scale, coverage, product set, devices, whatever. The cloud is about launching products, scaling them up, scaling them down, discontinuing them. The cloud is about entering …. and exiting … markets. The cloud is about delivering services to the device of choice; even if it didn’t exist when the original design was made.
The cloud is about change. Not about the steady state.
IT before the cloud was all about preserving and maintaining the steady state. And that’s why so many projects failed, and will continue to fail. A conflict of philosophy, as the agents of change try to batter down the walls of the mechanisms implemented to protect against change.
The monolithic systems of the past, largely concentrated on the back office, were built to achieve entirely different objectives: stable, repeatable processes executed at the lowest cost possible, designed to rebuff change.
The cloud is about change.