Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Third world networkers guide to successful an almost succesful service model (cloud)

So there is a huge debate over at skunkworks mailing list home of an elite technical group. Someone raised a storm with some statements about cloud computing.

Now the term cloud has been abused several times. Over and over people keep bringing it up in contexts that I don't feel fit the word. Im not trying to clear that. Not today. In fact this post has nothing to do with cloud. More on that some other day.

I love the entire idea behind cloud. Public cloud from the likes of Amazon have been a huge game changer in the startup arena. I use the AWS for some services.

Private clouds will definately make a huge difference in our lives in Kenya if well priced and positioned otherwise I might very well use a public cloud elsewhere. I doubt a public cloud platform will happen soon here. I also believe cloud is not the main issue at the moment. Awareness is.

Security is of huge concern for me. I am especially scared of handing my data to a service provider that 'exports' my data to some 'cloud' hoping someone over there will keep it safe.I get scared if said person doesn't even ask me before handing the data over.

Another challenge is changing how managers and project managers think about processes.Cloud computing breaks most of the models in use today for a service portfolio. I can already see some confusion in meetings I attend. So for instance if you came from the ITIL Prince2 school of thought, the vertical blocks (cost analysis, business plan, service overview, technical plan, implement,operate) can't/won't scale.

Cloud computing gives you layered portfolios. Visualizing this can be a pain to comprehend for even experienced users. So for that mailing list the question really is how exactly is a novice regular user supposed to comprehend it and take advantage of it. How do you show value?

Start small, start by creating value services, created demand for a service, be open to audits, to discussions, let your technical people talk to the customers (note I said technical not your sales drones).

Personally I'd start from small communities like an estate of lets say 50 houses,Ensure each and every house has access to a 'community network either cable or wifi or whatever, show them how voip between your home and a sentry gate with a few IP camera's and community wifi can secure the 'estate'.Let kids have online multiplayer games, host a local movie database, or music, or photos, install a microphone, record your amateur guitar, stream it to your neighbor....

Have an estate site where users and home owners can access and check on their houses. host community bulletins online, maybe a 'for sale' board online, start engaging locally....and on and on and on....thats the kind of activism I want to be involved in...

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