Monday, 23 March 2009

SASS - Short Attention Span Summary - a brief history of the Cloud

I recently was looking at the reviews of the “Day the earth stood still” film on Amazon as at the time of writing it is due to release to DVD and I can’t decide if this movie is a complete lemon or a subtle recasting of a classic with new ideas. It certainly took a hammering by the box office critics but some reviews including my own amateur effort saw some elements that were of merit.  The point I found more interesting however was a reviewer, pen name Amanda Richards who used the concept called SASS- Short Attention Span Summary. Apart from the prodigious output I thought the concept of SASS and the notable art of a short blog was a really useful aid.  So here goes with my SASS of “TheLong Tail”, ““Wikinomics”, “The Big Switch”, “The World is Flat”, “Does IT Matter” and “IT Doesn’t Matter , Business Processes do” in chronological order.  I thought I’d include all six as they appear to be the mainstream cloud background subject matter books currently.

The SASS of the cloud is:

  1. "Does IT Matter" - No
  2. "IT doesnt matter, but business processes do" - Yes , everything is about processes
  3. "Wikinomics" - but IT is everywhere and potential to change the way we do business
  4. "The Long Tail" - Yes and its changed the way products and services are created, provisioned and delivered
  5. "The world is flat" - yes and its now global and the west missed the significance of this shift
  6. "The Big Switch" - The significance is that we will have virtual businesses, centralized IT utility services - the cloud changes everything....

Read on

“Does IT Matter ?” Nicolas Carr, (HBR article published 2003)

  1.  Postulate: IT has become a commodity and wide spread and no longer provides business competitive advantage
  2. Companies spent billion of dollars on IT but have not seen real competitive advantage improvements.
  3. IT investments need to assess the role of IT on business and commerce to achieve the right focus on value and competitive advantage
  4. Strategic importance of IT is decreasing.

 “IT Doesn’t Matter , Business Processes do” , Howard Smith, Peter Fingar, Nicholas Carr, (Aug 2003)

  1. Postulate:  Business processes enable business competitive advantage. It is wrong and dangerous to ignore processes and the role of IT
  2. Michael Hammer’s 1990 article “Reengineering work” is a example of this
  3. Strategic importance of IT is actually increasing  e.g. the emergence of Web services enabling businesses to redesign and innovate new services. 
  4. A business process revolution will occur as businesses redefine the use of IT in the context of their operations and markets.

Wikinomics, Don Tapscott, Antony Williams 2006

  1. Postulate: Mass collaboration changes everything
  2. The perfect storm: internet, web 2.0 tools, collaborative platforms
  3. The emergence of peer production - prosumers
  4. The wisdom of crowds, acting globally, shared spaces – the world is your R&D department
  5. Open and free e.g. Open Source Ecosystem e.g. Linux spawned a multi-billion dollar ecosystem and changed balance of power in Software Industry
  6. Ideagoras – Marketplaces for ideas, innovations and skills. Engage and co-create- co-innovation – emergence and serendipity.
  7. Escalating scope and scale of resources applied to innovation means change can unfold more quickly. Getting the right ratio between internal and external innovation.
  8. The collaboration economy, the business web
  9. Lower barriers to monetizing co-creation and collaboration channels
  10. Managing complexity – a Darwinion approach.
  11. The rise of social computing, Enterprise 2.0, harnessing the power of wikinomics.
  12. Building critical mass, supply a platform for collaboration, people governance enablers, incentives, build trust, let the process evolve,  objectives, leadership, culture of collaborative mind.

“The Long Tail” , Chris Anderson 2006

  1. Postulate:  Size of potential market is sum of all participants
  2. Temporal competition and the back catalogue including niche products can all be provisioned
  3. End of the hit parade
  4. The power of free
  5. The tyranny of locality versus logistics anywhere
  6.  The economics of abundance: Acquisition costs DOWN, Average Sale price DOWN, Gross Margin UP
  7. Why?
  8. Democratization of tools of production, distribution, joining of supply and demand (Industrialization)
  9. The power of peer production and collective intelligence
  10. One size does fit all - The emergence of statistical multiplexing
  11. The aggregators emerge e.g.  Physical retailers à Hybrid retailers à Pure digital retailers
  12. The paradox (of the cloud) – Long tail drives a shift towards 101 tastes and choice; the ability to provision is king

“The World is Flat”, Thomas Friedman, 2006

  1. Postulate:  The global balance of economics have changed with a triple convergence of complementary goods, horizontal collaboration business models emergence, and opening up of eastern markets into a global market together with 10 flattener (Changers) of new open playing field.
  2. The perfect storm: Late 20th century investment in fiber optic cables between west and east; collaborative tools on the internet; economic reforms to enable eastern countries to enter and exploit technologies and services.
  3. The west were looking the wrong way while the east has caught up in China, India, former Soviet Union countries emergence and Asia pacific markets
  4. Ten flatteners: Collapse of the Berlin Wall; Netscape, Workflow, Open Sourcing, Outsourcing, Offshoring, Supply chaining, Insourcing (BPO e.g. UPS repairs Toshiba PCs), In-forming, “The Steroids”( personal mobile communications devices)
  5. Connection and Collaboration
  6. The 21st Century is flat  

“The Big Switch”, Nicholas Carr, 2008

  1.  Postulate: Business and society will fundamentally change to a virtual society creating fundamental shifts in people’s lives, markets, jobs and skills
  2. IT will become like the utility industry – the “electrification”, “the Electric Grid” of the IT industry
  3. The PC age giving way to the Utility age
  4. The internet will become a “world wide computer”
  5. The rise of the Google model will supersede the old ownership models ( the older Microsoft model – Bill Gates memo to employees Fall 2005 creates a path to the utility age)
  6. The Google model will create super data center services outmatching any company own computer investments.  All physical hardware will to “centralized” as commodity utility services.
  7. Virtualization will truly revolutionize all IT
  8. 3Tera’s software provides an example of what the future of computer business might look like: No physical products at all. Create virtual versions of their equipment of software and sell them as icons that plug into programs like AppLogic.
  9. Move to service based economies
  10. From the many to the few – consolidation and flushing out versus the power of the many and 101 choice
  11. Living in the Cloud
  12. Collaborative content
  13. Accelerating concentration of wealth in large businesses
  14. Clustering of like minds - a threat or a benefit?
  15. The threats to the internet
  16. The spiders web – zero privacy, you are what you do and say profiling.
  17. iGod - all Human knowledge, wisdom and interactions inscribed into the internet
  18. Impact of this on society and relationships. 

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