I am an advocate for the new “everything as a service” (EaaS) IT paradigm. This has nothing to do with the fact that I am lazy (well it sort of does but that’s not really the point now, is it? I mean making my IT problems someone else’s business has so much appeal it’s very difficult to ignore. Discounting my laziness, the state of technology today makes EaaS not just a possibility, but a reality.
Let me pose my two favourite questions on the progression of technology. Firstly, do you remember a time before ? You know, when the only time you could call that girl who’s “digits” you got from a friend of a friend of friend was between 8:00am and 5:00pm? Secondly, can you imagine life without a cellphone? The majority of us respond to this with a resounding “NO!” Clearly, technology advances and at a very fair clip at that. Ignoring this is detrimental to your social and economic progression. Not convinced?
At its peak Kodak controlled 90% of film and 85% of camera sales in the US. Despite inventing the technology that formed the base for digital cameras as far back as 1975, the company still filed for bankruptcy in 2012. This is the company that invented the digital camera and part of their legacy is that today, almost everyone has one in their back pocket or purse. How many billion devices have digital cameras? I see these things everywhere I go! That beady eye watching me as I withdraw my last $10 from the ATM, the camera on the smartphone taking pictures to tweet and instagram, the CCTV systems in buildings all over cities? Yet, the geniuses behind the invention still managed to go bankrupt.
There is a single explanation which can summarise what happen. Kodak refused to stay current. Apparently, a photo is only a photo if “you can touch it and feel it”. Instagram, Facebook, Google+, and all those digital photos on your smartphone of your family holiday in Dubai don’t agree. This is an extreme example of how refusing to stay current affects relevance. Funny story – but a very sobering example.
Now that’ve scared your socks off, let’s get back to the EaaS story. EaaS is an acknowledgement that technology is advancing at a pace that most of us are struggling to keep up with. By derivative, keeping up with the technology should not be your core focus. You’ll spend sixteen hours of your eight hour work day staying current if you focus on the technology.
Tapping into EaaS allows you to consume a very current technological service without focusing on the technology. Let’s use Facebook as an example. You interact with it in a very set way. Occasionally you’ll have to update the application on your smart phone or tablet but the technology behind it is not your concern. All you know is “internet connection=Facebook.com”. But the service you get is consistent, a social media experience that allows you to engage a global audience. We can take that model and push it to other areas of our IT needs. If you were to take your entire IT organisation and turn it into a service you would enjoy the most current technology without worrying about how to stay current (technologically speaking). The geeky stuff about how the service works and is delivered are not your problem. Your problem becomes focussing on what you do best. For example, uploading selfies to Facebook.
Imagine how this impacts your business. If you didn’t need to focus on driving your IT infrastructure how much effort could you dedicate to driving the core operations of your business – that is, those activities which actually put money in the bank. You can throw in terms like “cloud computing” and “the internet of things” as you please at this stage.
Technological advancement is an integral part of the human socio-economic story. As the technological landscape evolves so must we; that is the only way to stay relevant. In a line, focus on your core business by letting someone else worry about what you need, and what they are experts at. That’s one of the most effective way to boost the growth of an enterprise. SaaS facilitates it.