Cloud computing has changed the way people do business around the world, and the most drastic change has been to traditional business models.
In the old days of client/server business computing, large enterprises always had the upper hand thanks to their greater budget and ease of access to resources; with cloud computing, small business owners can compete at a higher level since many of the old barriers to entry have been eliminated.
The impact of the cloud computing paradigm in the business world is mostly beneficial. First of all, cloud computing focuses on pooling resources and making them available to even the smallest enterprise. Second, proper application of cloud resources leads to agility. Third, the cloud provides a realistic concept of scalability. Finally, many of the best practices of the cloud are available at very reasonable costs.
The Digital Hub Concept
In 2011, the late Steve Jobs explained how the cloud computing paradigm will radically change hardware devices, particularly in the business sphere. He envisioned a concept of a digital hub, which consists of all the information and tools that individuals need, moved to the cloud.
Steve Jobs’ vision can be explained by neutral devices that universally conform to a set of standards unencumbered by operating systems. Although the current cloud computing paradigm is not ready to abandon operating systems, it is possible to set up business offices these days without having to worry about setting up servers. The idea is to be able to satisfy the digital needs of a business through Internet connected devices equipped with Web browsers that are recently modern and up-to-date.
In the world of business enterprise, the entire digital hub is being moved to the cloud. To this effect, we have Software as a Service (SaaS) and even Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The next step forward is Business Process as a Service (BPaaS), which entails automation.
The prepaid mobile phone industry provides a good example of BPaaS. The basic processes of activating a prepaid mobile line, configuring the service and adding credit can all be accomplished from a smartphone or from a computer. All these functions reside in the cloud.
Even some customer service functions available to prepaid mobile phone subscribers are automated and operated from the cloud. These services are pre-configured to a certain extent, which means that business owners can enter contracts with BPaaS providers and customize packages that fit their specific needs.
In the end, cloud services such as BPaaS not only level the playing field of business enterprise; they also encourage competition while facilitating growth and expansion through the ease of scalability.