Cloud Computing clouds procurement softwareIt isn’t new to point out that there’s been a big change to our desktops over the last 20 years. Desktop doesn’t even mean desktop anymore. A desk top used to be the surface you’d lean on to use a pen – now it’s your computer workspace. Our work environment has evolved beyond recognition and the new generation of talent knows no different. The computer touches us in most of our daily lives and I for one would not want to be without access to high speed internet – even on vacation.

But something else has happened beyond the penetration into our daily lives of google, twitter and facebook. In our professional lives we have, willingly or otherwise, become geeks. The industrial strength applications, that tie our supply chains together, the ERP systems, the procurement software, eProcurement and eSourcing modules have made us more efficient and more profitable have, necessarily, become an extension of our work. In addition to our existing set of acronyms and industry jargon we casually and confidently drop concepts like extensibility, web services and VMware into business conversations. We’ve had to become conversant with this stuff. But at what point do we say “enough”, stop half-understanding the technology and refocus on our core work?

The answer is in the clouds – and it’s now

Google “cloud computing” and you’ll find presentations on youtube, web pages and pdfs explaining what cloud computing is. They’ll tell you it’s about outsourcing, Software as a Service (SaaS), “on demand” computing and any number of other definitions. Its’ not really well defined but it’s none of the above.

Cloud computing means things just work. You want a light on? Click a switch and the light is on.  You don’t need to be an electrician. Why, in the 21stcentury, when we want to know how much we spend in a particular category, do we need to become experts in SAP or Oracle reporting or whatever procurement software we use? Cloud computing will eliminate all of this. And we don’t need to know how or why, it just will.

And that’s the way it should be.

Cloud computing will not revolutionize anything. The revolution has already happened. Cloud computing represents the latest stage in the evolution of business that will – at last – allow business to do business and leave the infrastructure development and maintenance to someone else.