The 90's brought in the internet revolution that started the unification of the global village. Different knowledge sources on the internet ensured that there was no information asymmetry across the globe. A student in Cuddalore, India had access to the same information as someone in Manhattan, U.S.. That set forth a boom in information and knowledge-based services in emerging economies like India.
With cloud computing, I believe, we are headed into the next dimension of flattening – product innovation. Let us discuss two key facets of cloud computing. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provides standardized high-performance computing technology. What was once reserved for large enterprises is now available for consumers, entrepreneurs and researchers alike. In 2012, Amazon's virtual supercomputer configured on its consumer-grade Amazon Web Services, was ranked the world's 42nd fastest supercomputer! So, what was once available to the world's foremost defense and research agencies is today available to you, me and my daughter as well!
IaaS now provides a development platform and access to infrastructure for any entrepreneur, anywhere across the globe, to build his/her ideas. Combined with the booming mobile marketplace, we have access to create innovative products and monetization options through different app-exchanges. While IaaS removes barriers to entry at an entrepreneur level, it provides strong cost savings at an enterprise level too.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is another winner from the cloud stable. In my early days, it used to take a few million dollars and a few good months to get an intranet program started. Today for a few dollars a month, we have access to the world's best collaboration platform, and some are free too! What does it mean? Collaboration, Supply Chain, CRM, Analytics, Help Desk and many more available – you don't need a million dollars, many months and no reinventing industry best practices each time.
How does this help? An apparel vendor in India can work corroboratively and seamlessly with a design house in Italy and a buyer in the U.S. At a very low cost and without up-front investments, they get a common platform that accelerates productivity and trade.
Cloud is moving past the initial hype cycle and emerging as the next powerhouse in fuelling innovation, collaboration and thereby economies. Ably coupled with the emerging mobile/social market place we are poised to see exciting times ahead in a new flat virtual world and global commerce