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Article

The “Invisible Hand” Accelerating Cloud Adoption

There is not a single driver, but many drivers that are causing organizations to utilize the cloud

As the cloud computing market continues to mature, explaining the platform shift gets easier and more succinct. There are a wide variety of benefits to this next wave of computing, each resonating in shape, tone and strength depending on the listener's role in an organization.

C-level and financial people like the economic drivers of the cloud. Limiting capital investment by converting CAPEX to OPEX; paying for what the business needs with scalable, success-based pricing; and enabling efficient use of limited internal resources. These are a few of the benefits that strike a chord with this part of the organization.

The innovation and revenue enhancement people will argue that the true benefit of the cloud lies in its flexibility and agility. The ability to realize faster time to market for new products and/or services; having the ability to change [cloud] providers with much less friction often translates into a competitive advantage. The only constant is change and the faster a company can react, the better.

Developers find empowerment in being able to instantaneously provision machines and see their creation come to life with the push of a button. Being unencumbered by what is now the "old school" process of ordering a machine and waiting, preparing the machine and waiting, then, finally receiving the approval notice. Freedom from that vicious cycle creates a sense of liberation. History has shown us that freedom is a powerful motivator when it comes to action.

Not wanting to be left behind, IT has also jumped into the game. There's a potpourri of reasons, many of which have already been described, that have IT adopting the cloud. The term "shadow IT" has emerged to describe the group who has thrown caution to the wind and turned to the cloud for a faster, better way and no waiting for approval. I am sure many of these people would view their situation similarly to the freedom fighters of the American Revolution!

In economics, the invisible hand of the market is a metaphor conceived by Adam Smith to describe the self-regulating behavior of the marketplace.

The following excerpt from Wikipedia provides some historical color:

The theory states that if each consumer is allowed to choose freely what to buy and each producer is allowed to choose freely what to sell and how to produce it, the market will settle on a product distribution and price that are beneficial to all the individual members of a community, and hence to the community as a whole. The reason for this is that self-interest drives actors to beneficial behavior in a case of serendipity. Efficient methods of production are adopted to maximize profits. Low prices are charged to maximize revenue through gain in market share by undercutting competitors. Investors invest in those industries most urgently needed to maximize returns, and withdraw capital from those less efficient in creating value. All these effects take place dynamically and automatically.

There is not a single driver, but many drivers that are causing organizations to utilize the cloud. It is not an "or" argument, but an "and" argument ("or" makes you choose, "and" is better). Underneath the surface the invisible hand of self-interest unites the movement and accelerates the transition.

Recently at Cloud Expo in New York, I sat on a panel with Bruce Otte from IBM, Lisa Larson from Rackspace and Kevin Brown from Coraid, and the conversation turned to how computing has evolved from the mainframe to the mini to the client server to the internet to the cloud. You can see a video of that conversation here: The Fifth Wave: How Are Cloud Computing & Big Data Transforming IT?

With the C-suite, innovators, developers and IT all pushing for the cloud, albeit for different reasons, there is no doubt that cloud computing is the next or fifth wave. On the AppZero front, we are focused on making the movement to and from the cloud as fast, flexible and easy as possible. Our angle is agility -- enabling efficient methods of production to be adopted with little friction to maximize profits. You can see a one-minute video overview of AppZero here.

I am always looking for ways to communicate better and cut to the heart of any discussion. So, if you have thoughts on this subject drop me a line at GregO {@} Appzero {dot} com or tweet me at @gregoryjoconnor.

More Stories By Greg O'Connor

Greg O'Connor is President & CEO of AppZero. Pioneering the Virtual Application Appliance approach to simplifying application-lifecycle management, he is responsible for translating Appzero's vision into strategic business objectives and financial results.

O'Connor has over 25 years of management and technical experience in the computer industry. He was founder and president of Sonic Software, acquired in 2005 by Progress Software (PRGS). There he grew the company from concept to over $40 million in revenue.

At Sonic, he evangelized and created the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) product category, which is generally accepted today as the foundation for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Follow him on Twitter @gregoryjoconnor.