Is information technology (IT) a service or technology? We tend to think of technology as an asset we acquire and maintain. Service , as defined as by Dictionary.com, is “the supplying or supplier of utilities or commodities, as water, electricity, or gas, required or demanded by the public.” For most business owners, information technology is likely viewed as staffing plus technology assembled for the organization, with each business maintaining their own system. Nicolas Carr, author of the bestselling book, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World from Edison to Google the Definitive Guide to the Cloud Computing Revolution, identifies the similarity in the transformation from businesses building and maintaining their own power supply in the early 20th century to using centralized utility companies and the growing ability to centralize IT infrastructures through the Cloud.
This is a profound observation and one worth contemplating as part of your future plans. Carr’s discussion on the economics of sharing general purpose technologies, like cloud computing, is a compelling reason to adopt these centralized resources. This will not take place overnight, as we have all observed, but it is one with growing momentum. It is not only changing the localized investment in technology, but the way we work and interact on a professional and social level. Cloud technology has made access and computing capabilities available virtually anywhere; just like we walk into a room and the lights come on, we are nearly at a place where we expect that same ability when it comes to computing access.
If you would like to hear more from Nicholas Carr access this archived webcast from September 18, 2014, or join us at this year’s Digital CPA Conference where he will be providing a keynote and Q&A session.
Thinking of cloud computing in relation to the transformation of power supply, how are you looking at your business model and interactions to account for this change?