The Cloud Highway and the 680 Freeway

For those of you that know Silicon Valley in California, you understand the traffic trials and tribulations of the Interstate 680 freeway. For those of you that don’t it is the equivalent of the mad rush for the latest Christmas toy at your local department store for your kids, hours and hours of waiting and not enough supply (in this case freeway lanes). Oh, and I forgot to mention the ever-constant pressure of wondering if you are going to get in the store and if there will be one left for you.

Well, it was a typical Friday with the normal amount of scheduled meetings and  the knowing that I have to take my daughter to the Green Day Concert in Mountain View, CA —part of Silicon Valley. The day was going well until 3:30 and what happened next did not have an significant impact on my capital expenditures or really my operation expenditures. However it did have an impact on what I would call time to market and business relations.

I had just received the escalation call from the pits of the earth — and now the clock was ticking to get my daughter to the concert. Being the corporate citizen and over estimating the likelihood that I can complete this without delay, I volunteered to make the customer happy and address their escalation. Needless to say it took 2.5 hours to replace and was then 6:00 pm on a Friday. I had to drive to get my daughter to the people that are more important than any escalation in her mind — Green Day.

So off we went to what I know was going to be an arduous task of getting her there on time and keeping that relationship on wonderful terms (business relationship with my daughter). We were cruising down 680, and wouldn’t you know it — pure over-utilization of the freeway! It was a complete and utter parking lot. I am now feeling the drips of sweat down my neck as I see the steel glare of my daughter’s eyes and the look of panic on her face wondering if we would make it on time. We inched along the so-called “fast lane” of the freeway at what is slower than a snail’s pace only to see the cloud up ahead.

Halllelujah! My savior — a utility freeway model! That’s right, California, in their infinite wisdom, realized that the HOV lanes were under-utilized and they had excess capacity. This meant that they could sell a pay per use model to those of us that needed the extra capacity. The Freeway was a cloud? Wow! I always talk to my customer about capex and open savings. This time I saw another very strong value in my life experience….Time To Market, or in my case…Time to Concert. That’s right, my wonderful state had opened a cloud model that would allow me to get to market (concert) faster.

So I jumped into the utility lane paying my usage fee only, not having to buy the lane, or the freeway. This way my daughter and I could get over when needed and stop the measured service. We were still able to reap the benefits of making the concert on time and I kept my beloved daughter and daddy relationship a wonderful one. All this was accomplished by bursting into an extra capacity of a provider for faster time to market.

So the next time you are weighing the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and ROI (Return on Investment) benefits of Cloud, do not forget to factor in the cost values of time to market and business relationships.

By the way, we made the concert in the nick of time thanks to the utility freeway cloud!

How is Cloud Computing helping you with key relationships among stakeholders? How has it helped your organization with Time to Market factors? We look forward to getting your comments below.
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