Utility is partly the, intrinsic benefit or convenience of some-thing.
Ubiquity is the ready availability, and ability to access that thing easily from anywhere.
An example to illustrate the key ideas of Utility combined with Ubiquity:
If I have a cell phone, and you have a cell phone we each have a point of attachment into a telecommunications network. We may share the same infrastructure (carrier) and even talk to the same people.
In the world of cellular phones that “Shared infrastructure and community of users” is the norm. This pattern is also true for a wide variety of other everyday usable items. There is a Utility provided by the network service provider and Ubiquity in it being accessible by each individual user from anywhere.
The Utility & Ubiquity also means anyone else can easily acquire this technology...So; Where’s the differentiator and the value?
The physical form of network has a parallel in the world of the Internet and with Cloud Computing.
The answer to that question is the heart of how does a user generate a “Value Proposition” from a Utility. The issue boils down to this...
There is a difference between Utility and Value. Utility represents the availability, capacity and service level in some-thing that we may all use. The roads, car-parks and the telephone network are good examples of Utility based on a shared infrastructure. The reason we share the infrastructure is that it is too expensive for each of us to build our own infrastructure.
I have my car / phone and you have yours. The relative operating costs will be different for each user, and predominantly flows from their form and the capacity of access, however, the value I extract from a connection into, and usage of, those networks is a function of what I do with my “point of attachment into that network” not the underlying shared infrastructure itself.
To illustrate; In a business context, all businesses will have a shared connection into the power / water utilities/ roads / Internet and their staff use these facilities...
Same points apply. It is how efficiently we turn our access and use of those inputs (Quantity used or total input costs per unit of output) into Value that determines the overall profitability of a business.
At this time in business, with Cloud Infrastructures, everyone (big and small businesses) has the opportunity to have the same capabilities in their infrastructures (in-house applications / cloud, hybrid, whatever).
So the large capital costs that were a traditional barrier to entry for the smaller players have been largely removed by the Cloud (SaaS /Iass/ PaaS) delivery Models.
The challenge now facing individual businesses today is how we leverage and use these assets to collaborate with our partners and create value in our products and services. That piece is largely unaddressed. There is a solution in www.darkstarcloud.com and its delivery model.
Cloud can and should be the platform to provide Utility and Ubiquity.
It holds the promise to the move the current IT paradigm to business processes and away from enterprise centric applications and their data.
Post courtesy of Rob McWhirter
Post courtesy of Rob McWhirter