We’re in the middle of a software revolution.
Imagine what the business world looked like ten years ago. Could you have envisaged a taxi company rising to become the largest in the world, without at any point owning any taxis?
Uber achieved this in only six years.
Similarly, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba offers nearly a billion products. It doesn’t hold any stock.
Airbnb is the world’s largest accommodation provider. Not a single hotel room to its name.
So if it’s not their inventory, what is it today that leading companies offer that makes them the best in their markets?
Answer: the best applications.
Software is now the key business differentiator.
This revolution is hitting one market after the other like a tidal wave – and it’s gaining pace: the rate of application development and deployment is rising dramatically, with the average number of deployments per month is expected to double in the next two years.
Why is software and the cloud “eating the world”?
The connectivity of the cloud means that software providers can create and regulate communities of users, as well as coordinate information about their services, without having to deliver the services themselves.
Uber and Airbnb go light on assets and concentrate on efficiently co-ordinating data and people through software in the cloud. And they are worth tens of billions.
These principles apply to every industry. Even nontechnology industries – retail, car repair – will be using superior software as a weapon against their competitors.
Ask yourself: What bank could thrive today without a well-designed mobile banking app? What retailer could conquer the marketplace with an out-of-date e-commerce platform? How would you survive without customers being able to log into your B2B portal anywhere and anytime?
If someone else has a better application – be it a mobile app, an e-commerce platform, customer portal – they will win your business.
Where should you focus your resources?
The more time spent on the parts of your business that make you stand out from the crowd, the better.
Uber are number one because they developed a mobile app that is incredible at delivering what customers want: quick, reliable, readily-available taxis.
That is their unique differentiator. Their value add. And therefore that is where they focus their time and energy.
But in the background, reliable and secure IT infrastructure is the foundation on which killer applications are built.
The application is their business – yet its operation is ensured by dependable cloud infrastructure.
But Uber’s hypervisor – although crucial for the efficiency of their service – does not differentiate them fundamentally from the competition. So why should they focus their time on it?
Let others manage the invaluable – but non-differentiating – side of your IT set-up: the hosting and networking. And give yourself more time to focus on what will let you do amazing things in your industry: your application.
The cloud is transforming every industry
The IDC predict that nearly half (43%) of all server shipments will go to cloud service providers’ data centres by 2017.
And in the marketplace, disruptive, cloud-centric, software-driven businesses are dominating their slower, more conservative antecedents.
As Forbes’ Reuven Cohen has it:
“like it or not any software being created today is being done with the cloud as its central architectural design philosophy.”
You will have to develop or improve your software to thrive in your industry. Why add worries about your hardware at the same time?
Get in touch to find out how Claranet can free you from the limitation of configuring hardware and empower you to focus on creating and perfecting the apps and software that will disrupt your industry.
 Elliot Stephen. DevOps and the Cost of Downtime: Fortune 1000 Best Practice Metrics Quantified. IDC 2015