A few blocks from my home there is a sushi restaurant. The other day, when I went there for some take-out food, I met a parent from the elementary school of my kids, with his daughter. I hardly recognized her, because it had been a couple of years. He still looks familiar, because I pass his office, an insurance brokerage, on the main street around the corner from my home.
After we discussed the developments in the insurance industry, he asked about my work. He had also just ordered his food, so we had some time to spare.
This got us talking about cloud computing, which is closer than you think. It turned out that he had been following the developments for a while. For his office, with a dozen staff, it was not imminent yet, because the server in the closet had not been totally depreciated yet. But he saw it coming soon. The supplier of his main software application had started to offer it in the cloud: SaaS, or software as a service. That would become an interesting alternative in the near future. He would then also be able to put his telephony in the cloud, get rid of his server, and work more easily from home.
It is not just big companies like Google and Microsoft that provide cloud services. Even if you’re just a local software vendor, you can play along. Software that was first delivered on CD or floppy disk is now delivered “as a service”.
After I got home I had a look at the sushi restaurant’s leaflet. They had introduced the ability to order and pay for your sushi online. They probably did not develop that website themselves. And indeed, it turned out to be done by a local developer, who offered this as a cloud service to many take-out restaurants.
If I had ordered my sushi in the cloud, I would not have had to wait so long at the restaurant. But then I would not have spoken my friend in the insurance world, and you wouldn’t have read this blog post.