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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Time to Cut Through the Cloud Computing Mania


Every few years a new idea representing a fundamental shift in how a task is accomplished or how a certain category of problem is solved, is introduced. Today, in marketing communications this fundamental shift is represented by social media. Social media has turned marketing communications on its head. Communications agencies everywhere are running hard and fast to stay ahead of the opportunities that the new social media channels present. For most agencies, staying ahead of what's new in social media is like drinking from a fire hose. It's exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. But mostly, it's exhilarating.

Today, in the world of technology this fundamental shift is represented by cloud computing. Cloud computing is the big new idea for how companies access, pay for and deploy technology -- from applications, to infrastructure, to computer power, etc.

Cloud computing is turning the technology world, and the business of technology, on its head.

Cloud computing, to me, is the single most exciting thing happening in technology today. Staying ahead of the cloud computing advancements being announced on a daily basis is also exhilarating and exhausting. But mostly exhilarating, if you're a cloud computing bigot like me.

Yes, the advancements in the mobile technology segment are electric. It's a segment that is growing faster than any other and is more imaginative and lucrative than most. And let's not forget the advancements and opportunities that are ongoing in the more established segments that include enterprise IT and semiconductor manufacturing.

But what these technology segments all have in common is the cloud. Whether it's a mobile technology company selling to other businesses or directly to consumers or both, or a global B2B enterprise IT solutions provider or a manufacturer of semiconductor components, they are retrofitting their existing offerings to leverage a cloud computing environment or they are developing new solutions optimized specifically for the cloud.

Some have referred to the cloud computing market as the "Wild West" or another gold rush on the heels of many before it, like the Internet gold rush of the mid-to-late 90's and the networked multitasking operating systems shoot out of the late 80's and early 90's.

At 3Point, we write a lot about cloud computing because we believe that cloud computing represents a broad transformation of the information technology industry. It's a seismic shift in technology and business, like the Internet was 15 years ago. Heck, local small circulation daily newspapers are even mentioning cloud computing on their business pages.

Cloud computing will be around long after many of the companies who are betting the farm on cloud computing will be around. I'm not talking about the big players, like Salesforce.com and Oracle and Microsoft, but the outcrop of new companies who are building their businesses on the cloud computing mania.

The companies that will survive, I believe, will be the ones who battle test their offerings -- of course. But they will also be the companies who communicate most effectively through the hype. They will be the companies who will communicate new ideas that break through the clutter. They will be the companies who educate their markets rather than hype the news. They will be the companies that start with a strong point of view and find ways to take a different perspective. They will be the companies who exploit the new social media channels appropriately and intelligently and not just because it's new and cool.

In the next few weeks, we'll be writing more about cloud computing marketing communications and how cloud computing companies can put social media to work for them.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear your ideas or examples of how you're using social media to cut through the cloud computing hype.

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