Cloud Computing Impacts Technical Agility

The application of Cloud Computing architectural and business concepts to real world business problems allows an increase in technical agility.  According to Wikipedia, Agility is

“...the ability to change the body's position efficiently, and requires the integration of isolated movement skills using a combination of balance, coordination, speed, reflexes, strength,endurance and stamina.”

Technical Agility is the ability of a business to efficiently apply technology to solving business problems.  It requires a combination of knowledge, funding, process, planning, speed, consistency, and purpose.

The application of the business and technology concepts of cloud computing can allow a business to keep up and even be ahead of the curve of what a business needs.  This is especially true because of the decreased need to make massive investments in relatively static technology infrastructures to solve yesterdays problems.

Almost every day I hear that cloud computing is passe or that it is just marketing hype.  To be sure there is no shortage of hype.  But, this particular story definitely has some legs.  Last July Gartner predicted that 2010 IT spending would be, “The market researcher said Thursday it has trimmed its estimate for IT spending for 2010 to $3.35 trillion, a gain of 3.9 percent over last year's $3.23 trillion.”

That is an astounding number!  On Sept. 10 Gartner then stated, “Companies spend around 10.2 percent of their budget for external IT services on cloud computing, according to a new Gartner survey.”

Now, that says that cloud computing efforts might pull in a cool 323 billion dollars in 2010.  That is a LOT of money.  I’d predict that weather that number is or is not accurate that it’s 100% accurate that you will see the real amount of money going to cloud related efforts grow very quickly over the next 3-5 years.

As a result of decades of work in systems automation, grid computing, cluster computing, and virtualization computing technology can now be deployed faster, more accurately, more flexibly, and more cost effectively than ever before.  An individual human being with nothing more than a terminal can control vast compute grids.  Can monitor, update, and scale using nothing more than a 3G connected iPhone if they so choose.  This evolution of technology is helping to drive a revolution in business through a drastic reallocation of human and financial capital.  In times when the cost of financial capital is high, like now, this is a very big deal.  The dearth of micro-funding options to start-ups is a possible indicator here.  The proper application of capital to technology initiatives can make a dramatic difference for any business.  Any business owes it to their bottom line and shareholders to, at the very least, examine the situation with their technology infrastructure management today and make a purposeful decision for their company about how and when they will use cloud computing resources to solve their business problems.

I'm fond of saying that if a company does embrace Cloud Computing that it can be a driver for real innovation.  It can help the company and it’s people better leverage the money they do spend on technology while allowing them to focus more on their true area of expertise.  Employing Cloud Computing techniques and tools is not using technology for technologies sake but for the sake of deploying ideas more quickly than ever before and converting those ideas to revenue.  That is a profound maker of change.