I spoke at Cloudcamp Auckland last week. In this unfconference, the awkward but real question came up
“ what does cloud computing mean for New Zealand business”.
This question is directly applicable to every nation with an ICT industry.
First lets get clear on what cloud computing is. It is an industry wide disruption. That means that the old business model of ICT is under attack. In this instance of disruption, there is an attack on both the technical delivery and commercial model. Anyway, this means there is going to be a re distribution of wealth within the ICT (a fancy way of saying there will be losers).
But most importantly a disruption is an event when new entrants can rise up. Where before the entrenched organisations could out compete due to superior resources, now the more agile start ups can win.
Now what is most interesting about this phenomenon is that it can also be applied to nations and their individual ICT industries.
You will see this on blogs, ICT workers know that as cloud centralises whole functions, roles simply disappear. But if one nation is loosing, another nation is winning. Circle of life.
So back to the topic, how can a nation take advantage of it?
- Firstly develop a product and become a global powerhouse. There is no reason why Salesforce.com couldn’t have been developed and launched from another nation.
- With enough government support, you could set yourself up as a cloud computing ‘node’. Utilising climatic, political and economic factors to your advantage. For instance cold climate for cooling economics, being known for being not being corrupt, or being located close to big markets but not carrying their wage overhead.
- You could take a deliberate strategy of targeting an incumbent with a disruptive play. Take on Microsoft office, or SAP or McAfee. Get national fervour to gain a bit of scale then take on the world.
- You can use time differences, for instance New Zealand is time is 12 hours different from the UK. Why not do the coding overnight and make cash during the day?
- Look for the second wave of innovation. For instance collaboration is the next big thing in CRM. Don’t take on Seibel or Salesforce.com, instead “skate to the where the puck will be”.
- You could carve out a role as independent arbitrator or even create and manage compliance. ITIL for cloud.
There are a number of ways you take advantage of the opportunity as a company and a nation. If you take anything away from this post, I hope that its something like Nations have an opportunity to make serious inroads into the global ICT market because of cloud computing and that now is the time to act.
Any thoughts on others? Am I alone in thinking this is a huge opportunity for whole nations?