Cloud Containers: Insight and an Example

Cloud, a buzz-word, a goal, a journey, a solution; ‘cloud’ the all-encompassing word for the technological age. Few know what it is, and even fewer know how it fits into everyday business and life. Of course there are many ways cloud can fit into your business and the boundaries are limitless with responsiveness, creativity, and agility in the ever changing plane of business-technology solutions.

Today, I offer an insight on ’containerized cloud-solutions’ a ubiquitous term that is permeating every meeting and industry talk one attends. In the same example I will convey how one can purchase and sell a ‘containerized cloud-solution’.

First let’s consider what a cloud solution has to address: “A Business Goal/Challenge” and a few of the factors we must understand, and then we will use an analogy to apply it to a specific business goal.

When choosing to implement a cloud solution we must address several factors before we can move forward with appropriate actions some which are:

1.     Cost

2.     Timeline

3.     Business units affected

4.     Overall need

5.     Scalability

6.     Resulting customer experience

Though we could make a much longer list, we are keeping it brief as an initial example.

For our analogy the business goal is to change the flooring in a single room. The goal is simple it is as follows:  install new flooring for your office meeting room. Now we know where we want to end, but we don’t know how we get there or what to do in between. So we make a list of intermittent steps these can include:

1.     Removing old material

2.     Cleaning the sub floor

3.     Identifying new material for installation

4.     Shopping for new material

5.     Cost comparisons

6.     Purchasing materials

7.     Installing material

8.     Adding finishing touches

9.     Consider if the end-result is ‘enjoyable’

This is not a complete list of what it takes to go from Step One to a finished floor, but it showcases the exact same issues that are faced in the business world. We know where we want to go, but don’t know how, yet.

When it comes to a cloud solution there are more factors that must be considered, all the while asking does this work increase profitability or cut costs?

Perhaps our new flooring doesn’t immediately address a “cost cutting” measure, but it can increase our profitability and here’s how.

Within each of the steps we took we gain knowledge and understanding of not only our own problem, but also the challenge everyone else faces when they decide to install new floors themselves. Perhaps they are not as savvy as us though, and they require someone to do the work for them, up to and including choosing the color and material of the floor. They know they want a new floor, because all office meeting rooms need them, but they don’t know which is step 1 and which is step 2 and they don’t have the man-power to dedicate to the solution.

We are now in a nice position to sell the knowledge of our past experience by offering a one-stop-solution, where we duplicate our exact process and sell it for one packaged price. Often though we are not able to duplicate “exactly” because of course each customer is different and requires changes to the end result (read adaptability and agility).

We do now see that our knowledge and experience can be packaged (containerized) and sold to groups working to achieve the same, or similar results. Conversely, it is possible for us to purchase someone else’s solution to the problem (should it be available).

The technology industry is disrupting many industry leaders. While many people see that the future of technology belongs in cloud computing and several others may cite examples of Airbnb, Uber, Otto, bitcoin and other industry disruptors to prove their point. This is only the beginning of the disruption that is to come. While businesses turn to cloud solutions to solve their challenges and meet their goals. They must bridge the gap between IT, business and cost. They must also become the forerunners of containerizing and selling their solutions too; allowing for the mitigation of cost and turning a profit.

The adaptability of business to the changing landscape is the penultimate challenge, always. The question becomes how do we solve our own problems, and then make money solving other group’s problems?

Thanks for reading.