A few years ago, Cloud Computing was itself under a cloud. This is because its benefits didn’t seem obvious to many. It also had a fair share of its skeptics – technologists as much as business leaders. That is when the “long-held dream of computing as a utility” received validation from researchers at UC Berkeley.
Today, Cloud Computing is the computing equivalent of Shangri La. Its transformative features and cost-effectiveness have been proven in the real world. The technology makes it dramatically easier and faster to launch a service, cuts hardware and power costs by a fifth to a seventh and its pay-as-you-go model with built-in elasticity is a huge boon for businesses, saving expensive capital expenditure while still allowing them to take care of future growth.
Everybody ranging from startups to established global corporations are reaping the benefits of Cloud Computing, best exemplified by Amazon’s AWS and other services. Some estimates suggest Cloud Computing can slash a startup’s technology costs by as much as 90 percent, clearly making it a compelling choice. Notable sites that use AWS include Netflix and The Washington Post, suggesting there is something in Cloud Computing for everyone. In fact, Amazon runs its own world’s largest e-commerce site on the cloud computing platform with even better functionalities and at lower costs.
Now how do we get better at it? Is there a way to squeeze out more productivity and other gains?
Let me throw up a new term to describe combining two winning strategies which can together deliver even greater gains. I like to call this Lean Cloud Computing — bringing together the best of Lean Agile Methodologies and Cloud Computing.
Integrating Lean and Agile methodologies with Cloud Computing is fairly intuitive. Both approaches have many commonalities and enjoy obvious and significant synergies.
Agile Development, a lightweight and lightning quick approach to software, is more suited to Cloud Computing than most rival approaches. Like Cloud Computing, Agile requires minimal upfront planning and architecture. Its focus on rapid, continuous development and delivery of software through so-called “sprints” makes Cloud Computing the platform of choice, simply for its ease of updating. Finally, like Cloud Computing, Lean creates higher levels of flexibility and, consequently, can manage change efficiently.
Consequently, when you combine Cloud Computing with Lean Agile Development the end result is greater than the sum of the two technologies. This is because Lean Cloud Computing — integrating the two technologies — creates a powerful new platform. In addition, Lean Cloud Computing embraces Mobile Commerce and Social Networking – features that are nearly ubiquitous in today’s world of computing.
It’s time to embrace Lean Cloud Computing and count the gains.