Cloud is the Business Model, not just the Strategy. —- I think.

By Lester Lewis, Deputy CIO at Clark County

What makes cloud native apps so attractive is the efficiency with which they deliver services. There are no sacred practices just faster, better and more user friendly ways of doing things. Traditional business models are turned inside out to find improvements and we are all better for it. Why can’t this same methodology be practiced in the enterprise?

  1. Legacy applications – Of course we have them. My organization didn’t start yesterday, but we can still refine business processes with an eye towards an “Uber Model”. That is to say don’t just business process re-engineer the thing, but use technology to redefine it. Blockchains have, will and are redefining how we determine the efficacy of transactions.
  2. User experience is king – I’m not talking about waterfall versus agile delivery. I’m no scrum master or black belt, but I can watch how my daughters use technology and realize the experience is the determining factor between Uber or Lyft and a traditional cab. My phone is the portal and the app doesn’t require training or an instruction manual. Staff ramp up and productivity are a big deal in the enterprise when deploying new applications and no this won’t change that, but I believe the same principles of simplicity and user comfort can improve those dynamics.
  3. Why can’t I have it how I want it. – Transparency of cost and use makes people feel better. Some of you may remember that cell phones charged a premium for use during certain hours, but because the user was aware they could make a decision to use or not use the service and if the did use it they understood the cost, even if they were unhappy about it. Simple, secure and scale-able are the three “s” of life in this utopia. Imagine an enterprise where you were aware of how much it cost to deliver a service, when peak demand occurs and who is using it. Sounds like a dashboard any exec would love to see. IT no longer is a cost center justifying a budget but an integral part of how business gets done.

I would sum this up by saying the position of IT is in transition and we must be prepared to deliver. Understand the value of technology that is in alignment with business outcomes.