In my quest to learn everything I can, I search for and read a lot of material. It’s taken me some time to switch from printed media to electronic formats. There is just something about getting to feel the weight of the book in my hand and the page on my fingertips. Though I’m still drawn to printed material, I have learned to read and manage electronic content. With electronic content I had to devise new ways to organize my books, mark pages and search the content since the techniques I used on paper (physical location to organize, dog earing pages to mark important sections and using pens to take notes and mark important text on the pages) just don’t work well on an LCD. It’s taken me a while and I’m now not only comfortable with the new electronic content, I actually prefer it.
Like my foray into using electronic media, many customers are experiencing a similar situation with Cloud Computing. Customer’s had their systems and all the processes to support them in place. They could touch the computer and documents and move them around as they needed. A high comfort level has been established just like mine with my paper media. Initially I thought small and medium-sized organizations would be the first to show interest in and make the move to the cloud, just like individuals and small groups moved toward electronic media long before large public and corporate libraries. My rational was simple and appeared to be supported by the analogy to electronic media. Being small they have the agility to change their process quickly and the need to minimize their IT costs. To my surprise, the interest in the LABVANTAGE cloud hosting offering has been from customers of ALL sizes.
Thinking about why this would be made me realize my initial set of assumptions was incomplete. Yes, smaller customers were more agile and could switch to a hosted infrastructure with less effort. The driving force of cost savings was apparently just as great for large customers as it was for smaller ones. The assumption I made based on my analogy to electronic media and large libraries was incorrect. Unlike large libraries that initially lacked the infrastructure to support electronic media, my large customers have more experience with and have been virtualizing hardware for longer than smaller customers. Their comfort level with and processes surrounding virtualized infrastructure were more developed and therefore a move to the cloud required less effort.
I learned that simple assumptions or analogies don’t always predict real world events. Regardless of your company’s size, take a look at what the cloud has to offer. You may find your original assumptions about cloud hosting obscured it true potential.