This article was first published in the Winter 2014 issue of OnWindows
The long-term, margin-oriented economy is coming to an end. Instead, it is being replaced by flat-fee, shared, crowd-based or on-demand service models that give customers more agility, greater options and, ultimately, better value for money. We are all having to adapt to this new normal, and become more flexible and agile than ever to react quickly to constantly evolving requirements.
Players like Spotify, Netflix, car2go, AirBnB, Amazon and Microsoft have already changed the media, music, transportation and IT industries irrevocably. What all these companies have in common is that they have embraced a new selling model: they all now offer their products on demand, as a service and bill their customers either only for what they use or they simply charge them an incredibly low-cost flat fee. They make profit by winning the long tail, reaching the tipping point and spending money only on resources while they use them.
Scalability and agility can only be achieved if the tools and services businesses are using can also adapt flexibly to their needs as well as those of their customers. And this is where cloud computing comes in. Cloud is just the first small step in this huge digital transformation that started a few years ago and is now developing rapidly. Businesses of all sizes and types are adopting the as-a-service paradigm, and soon we will all be embracing it, because it fits better with the way our society is heading and the way in which we expect to use and pay for products and services.
The world as we know it is morphing into an ‘everything-as-a-service’ economy. Cloud-based applications and infrastructures are becoming the basic ingredients for creating the global, flexible and scalable platforms that businesses worldwide will come to rely on for everything they do.
We will use it to feed privately produced renewable energy into the grids, to orchestrate distributed manufacturing using 3D printing, to analyse massive amounts of data procured from billions of sensors, and to support the sharing and collaborative economy we are heading towards. Software will become the lifeblood of everything we do.
I am deeply convinced that in just a few years, every company and every individual will rely on cloud-based services in the same way that we have come to rely on electricity and the internet today. Cloud computing will become omnipresent to the point that we won’t even notice it’s there.
Damianos Soumelidis is managing director at software development and consulting firm Nagarro
Share this story