I am always amazed at this time of year how vacant store fronts come to life. Whether it’s Halloween costumes or Christmas decorations, this is the time of year when more of these ‘pop-up’ retailers start to appear to make our holiday shopping that much easier. And let’s face it, how much sense would it make for a Halloween costume shop to be open all year? Or better yet, when was the last time you needed a new Christmas decoration in July? At that time of year you are looking for a tree to find some shade, not a tree to decorate!

This got me thinking about how these pop-up retailers are similar to the mid-large enterprise customers with whom I spend most of my time talking about AT&T’s Cloud services.

The Cloud offers a way to change the way in which you approach the consumption and use of IT resources, just like these new pop-up retailers change the way in which they run their business. They pay for rent for the storefront they need when they need it, and when they don’t, they turn off the lights and have only paid for the time that they have occupied the space.

It’s the same with the Cloud, and our new PaaS services are an excellent example of how the Cloud and pop-up retail could even benefit one another.

Let’s imagine I wanted to sell Christmas Trees in the local vacant parking lot this holiday season. On top of that, I know that I want to leverage social media to get the word out about my tree lot. I also want to set up a way to get people to pre-purchase their trees online and to schedule a time to pickup their tree online.

In the past this would have possibly taken me investing in $$’s to hire a web developer and a web hosting company to deliver my application. Now, the game is changing. I can leverage Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions from companies like AT&T to build and deliver that application with little to no knowledge of how to write a line of code or what it takes to build a ‘pop-up’ application such as this.

I can login to an administrative interface, create my new application with a few points and clicks, publish the app and off I go! How easy is that? The additional beauty of it all is that once the holidays are over, I simply login and turn the application I have created off and that’s it! Just like I close my tree lot, I close my app, and just like the rent I paid for use of the tree lot for 2 months, I only pay for the 2 months I used the PaaS environment for my pop-up app!

The examples extend beyond the pop-up retailer…there are apps in all businesses that have a need for a limited life. Why manage internal infrastructure that is sitting idle vs. leveraging the Cloud that has the capacity waiting for you to consume?

The Cloud is changing the game, and as these technologies around the Cloud continue to evolve, the IT game is going to continue to change as well.

How is the consumption, or delivery, of IT services changing in your organization? Do you have ‘pop-up’ applications in your company?