Technology has not just fascinated man; the pace of its progress has often left him stupefied. The evolution of modern communications systems is a case in point which can help us understand this scenario better. Between the invention of the electric telegraph and the evolution of the internet, several generations have passed. The novelty of using the telegraph had not yet died down when the convenience of telephones caught peoples’ imaginations. For those who amused themselves with the fantasies of Star Wars, interplanetary communication was a far-fetched idea. But today, we have the necessary infrastructure to even detect signals beyond the ambit of our solar system!
Newer systemic innovations are fast changing human dynamics like the industrial and Internet revolutions did in the past. Industrialization offered the world the ability to deliver a wide range of products to people. The internet, meanwhile, has made it possible to create products and deliver services at a global scale.
"Newer systemic innovations are fast changing human dynamics like the industrial and Internet revolutions did in the past."
In this context, Cloud computing and digital technologies emerge as extremely relevant. The triad of Cloud, DevOps and Analytics is a major technological breakthrough that is changing the organization of businesses in its wake and bringing in new possibilities to us as consumers. Succinctly put, DevOps signifies flexibility and speed; Analytics paves the way for data-driven decision making; and Cloud - as a critical catalyst of democratization - enables low cost and convenience of services.
Cloud is a seminal part of digital transformation because with it, computing came to be delivered ‘as a service.’ The use of virtualization technologies, open source, service-oriented architectures and widely available computing standards, combined with the pervasiveness of the internet, helped commoditize computing services. This made them accessible to the world at reduced costs on a massive scale.
Cloud also laid the foundation for creating a boundary-free enterprise. Mobile, social and data analytics in conjunction with sensors and APIs are taking this superstructure further. This has rendered technology so pervasive that customer value has become paramount.
In the process, Cloud has brought ample convenience to consumers. For instance:
• Being modular: A modular way of provisioning and accessing technology has emerged, making it easy to pick and choose from multiple providers based on specific requirements.
• Being scalable and elastic: Services can be scaled up or down based on consumer demand(s) at the click of a button. Elasticity, meanwhile, is associated with not only scale, but also an economic model that allows automated scaling in both directions.
• Being shared and Metered by use: Infrastructure, software or platforms are shared among service consumers. This allows unused resources to serve multiple needs for multiple consumers. The service provider has a usage-accounting model for measuring the consumption of services, which can be used later to create different pricing plans and models. These may include pay as you go, subscriptions, fixed plans, and even free or advertising-supported plans.
Research shows that every industry is adopting the Cloud computing way of life in leaps and bounds – primarily because it brings several business positives with itself including increased operational and organizational agility, cost benefits and innovation. For example, highly competitive business-to-consumer players are introducing continuous Cloud-based business innovation in client services; business-to-business enterprises are using Cloud platforms to collaborate with providers, clients, partners and communities; and advertising agencies and media companies are opening up their business processes to external participation to generate new content.
The future holds amazing possibilities as the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine connectivity, and artificial intelligence completely blur the divisions between the physical and digital worlds. Cloud will be an inevitable part of our daily lives, augmenting our capabilities and intelligence, and governing a great part of our decision making process too.