Inflection Point: How the Convergence of Cloud, Mobility, Apps, and Data Will Shape the Future of Business
An “inflection point,” in a business sense, is a time of significant change or a turning point in the business environment. In Inflection Point, author Scott Stawski makes the case that most medium and large companies are facing a new IT-based turning point based on the growth of cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS). Many large firms still have an IT department that is focused on supporting legacy software, either developed in-house or licensed and hosted on a company owned and managed data center. Stawski argues that IT time and money would be better spent outsourcing those services that aren’t core to the business to businesses where they are core. HR, accounting, Customer Relationship Management and cloud computing and and storage are all services ripe to disrupt existing IT departments. The rise of Amazon’s AWS, Google’s App Engine and even Hewlett Packard (Stawski’s employer) have all moved into the business of hosting and managing other companies’ legacy data centers, and the prices for that drop regularly as each cloud service finds new cost savings of their own.
Stawski also argues that the difference between Operational IT (IT that supports internal projects that aren’t profit centers) and Product IT (those software services that are profit centers for the company) actually should be included in stock pricing models for companies that are still investing in Operational IT. A company focused on the future would be outsourcing those Operational IT expenses for a savings and using those savings for growth. From a practical “canary in the coal mine” investment prospective, he is probably quite right that those legacy costs will be a drag on earnings for most any corporation, and those smaller companies that do reduce their costs to points below any legacy firms’ ability to match.
Using a variety of examples (leaning heavily on his time at HP), Stawski breaks down the essentials of cloud computing, SaaS and other key technologies in easy-to-understand language. A good introductory book for managers that have heard of cloud computing, SaaS and web apps but haven’t begun to implement them in their company or department.
|Pearson FT Press
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