Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Sanjay Zalavadia, Elizabeth White, Dana Gardner, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Computing is a Better Business Model

The technology of The Cloud is evolutionary, but the business model is revolutionary

Andy Mulholland's CTO Blog

‘Complementary’ models are an integral part of Cloud Computing..
.

I have wondered for most of the last couple of years just how long ‘free’, meaning paid for by advertising, services on the web could go on for, and with a recession looming this seems to be the time that this could get cut back. However when I look into this a little more carefully I find that my impression of ‘free’ as a business model supported by advertising is perhaps already out of date as the successful players have used ‘free’ to reach either ‘freemium’ or ‘complementary’ models. Even more interesting it would seem that the ‘complementary’ models are an integral part of Cloud Computing.

Let’s start with ‘freemium’ as a business model, meaning give something away for free to create a market and demand, then charging those who are looking for more than the basic service. Adobe would be the grand daddy of this to me, just look at Flash, or PDF, to see what ‘free’ downloads have done to create a global market standardised around your technology, then consider what this has created in terms of a ‘locked in proprietary’ market for their professional products. Am I complaining? Well, no I am not, as in general I reckon we are all the beneficiaries of Adobe using the ‘freemium’ model. At one end as consumers and at the other by being able to build documents and graphics that we know people will be able to consume. In short ‘freemium’ models work when the balance is set to win- win.

The challenge is exactly how many areas can this work in? I mean is there an indefinite number of consumer end additions that a reasonable number of us are going to want? Take a look at Silicon Alley where they have compiled a list of companies who are working the ‘freemium’ model, try and see how many you are tempted to download from because it seems to offer reasonable value to you as a user. As this piece comments the interesting thing is some of the best known success stories such as Flickr and LinkedIn started as advertising supported and migrated into ‘freemium’ funding so perhaps I am thinking about this into too narrow a way and the model can apply more broadly to sites and services too.

However the real money, both as an investment to get started and in terms of potential to build an unassailable position, belongs with the ‘complementary’ model, and there is no finer example of this than Google. Hang on a minute is not Google the absolute best example of advertising funding? Yes it is, but the Google franchise runs wider and deep these days so more income is starting to come from other sources. The basis of a ‘complementary’ model is very very old, in fact the usual example is the ability to sell mustard to go with the purchase of a hot dog. This doesn’t work for me as usually I expect to get the mustard for free, but try going into a restaurant for a fixed price meal that looks attractively priced and see how much you pay for drinks plus coffee or tea. That’s where the real margin is made.

Google is using free, as in the search engine, to build a huge information base, which it can sell not just as advertising, but as a widening range of complimentary services to commercial users. Think Google maps as an example. Nicholas Carr treats us to his view on this in a longish, but quite interesting blog which I personally found to have some good perceptive insights, including a comparison with Microsoft.

The key question is how to make the various elements of a ‘complementary’ business model accessible to be consumed, by the ‘net economy’ as Nicholas Carr calls it. This brings us back to the Cloud Computing model, not the current much discussed element around using cheap MIPS, but the two higher layers around business services and most of all around ‘platforms’. If you want to understand the Cloud Computing model and its layers then take a look at my past post on this. If you want to make money by getting people/businesses to buy a complementary service then you have to have a way to deliver it, and unlike content this is not likely to be a static page to be sent, but a full on interactive ‘service’ that has to be able to run independently of the people/business using it as part of their process. In other words there are a whole series of major industry players out there who need to get the Cloud Computing model in place to be apply to maximise the use of their ‘services’ and revenues!

So there you have it; whether its IBM, or HP, Google or Amazon, Oracle or Microsoft just to mention a few names they all want to create the Cloud Computing model as a way of making a better business model for them, and to be fair I think for all of us in the same way as the ‘freemium’ model it will be a win-win. As a colleague remarked the technology of the Cloud is evolutionary, but the business model is revolutionary.


[This post appeared originally here and is republished in full by kind permission of Cap Gemini and the author, who retains copyright.]

More Stories By Andy Mulholland

Andy Mulholland is Global Chief Technology Officer, Capgemini Group. He is giving a seminar at Storage Expo, the UK's largest and most important event dedicated to data storage, now in its 4th year. The show features a comprehensive FREE education programme, and over 90 exhibitors at the National Hall, Olympia, London from 13 - 14 October 2004. (www.storage-expo.com)

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change t...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
industrial company for a multi-year contract initially valued at over $4.0 million. In addition to DataV software, Bsquare will also provide comprehensive systems integration, support and maintenance services. DataV leverages advanced data analytics, predictive reasoning, data-driven diagnostics, and automated orchestration of remediation actions in order to improve asset uptime while reducing service and warranty costs.
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...