Amazon Web Services this week announced the opening of their 5th site in Europe. Some people tend to believe that it’s just a bunch of servers for virtualization and storage but that’s wrong. AWS is so very much more and a cloud platform with products, solutions, tools and computing power to help business scale and grow. Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud is other examples of public cloud platform fueling innovation. Public cloud platforms have become the new operating systems and rapidly gaining acceptance.
Why is this so interesting? Well, over the last 20 years we have moved from “own your stuff” through Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and now Function as a Service (FaaS).
This is where the fun part starts. As a software developer you can buy just the functions that you need, pay for usage, whenever needed, without having to worry about operations of servers and Infrastructure! This is fully in line with sharing economy thinking. From where do you get the functions? They are mass produced in public cloud and available globally. Majority of today’s platforms by operators, alarm companies, enterprises etc. are built upon a monolithic structure, meaning that a piece of SW running on specific HW is designed in such a way that features and functions are predetermined how to be used, operated and working together. It’s really one size fits all. If something is requested to be changed, it will affect all users on that SW platform.
Flexibility is about putting together functions in blocks that is required in each specific use case and pay for usage of only that. Gone is huge investments in your own switches, servers and other monolithic hardware. This is available in the cloud.
Are we up for a shift? Yes, big time! Think about operators and enterprises that have made huge investments over the years, that will become obsolete. Not only as a result of efficiency, but more probably due to that a monolithic structure of products and solutions will fall. This is also the prime reason why we will see large companies come into difficulties, and new innovative companies will take the leading role. Companies today with 2, 10 or 20 employees can challenge large companies and take a leading role with exponential growth.
Let’s take a step back and look what happened about 100 years ago. Henry Ford started large scale production of the automobile which came to represent the American dream. Cars fell in price and made it affordable to the public. The production with assembly line method’s made car prices drop from 850 USD to 250 USD over less than 20 years.
Making the parallel to AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud computing platforms is not far-fetched. IT and Telecom services will be mass produced, in their platform driving industry change. Think about what will happen with companies, stuck in their legacy not being able to change fast enough. New services will be mass produced at much lower cost and better customer experience. Be prepared!