Plugging in to the Cloud

April 30, 2010 by Kim Graham Lee

Recently I had the pleasure of representing BlueLock at a reception for Mira Award finalists. Yes, this cloud computing company is up for the prestigious Gazelle Award. At the event, each finalist company was asked to provide a 60-second elevator pitch on what it does. Since our own branding work is still in progress (I hired a branding firm to help us), I gave it my best shot.

I began by first describing BlueLock as a cloud hosting company and referenced that we have spent our lifetime in the cloud, even before anyone knew what cloud computing was. Deciding to engage the audience, I asked a lawyer friend of mine to share what the cloud is. His response was, "Kim, everyone knows what the cloud is" and he pointed out the window.

Since I haven’t yet come up with a simple definition of cloud computing that my own mother will understand, I have found it helpful to use an analogy. (Thank you, Nicholas Carr who wrote The Big Switch!) I begin by sharing that years ago companies had to generate their own electrical power and spent considerable manpower and other resources doing that. Their ability to generate that power served as a competitive advantage at least for a window of time. Later on companies were then able to simply plug in to the electric grid, access as much electricity as they needed at any given time, and paid for only what they use.

The same is true for IT today and that is what the cloud is about. At BlueLock, we help companies focus on and grow their businesses by providing them with the amount of IT infrastructure they need, when they need it, and charge them for what they use. And this can all be done in minutes via the Web. This serves as a tremendous value to our clients who would prefer to spend their time and resources on growth and revenue generating activities, not servers and other technology infrastructure.

I am still on a mission to come up with that simple and clear definition of the cloud.  Any and all input is welcome! For now, the electricity analogy seems to work. My mother gets it. What will also work for me is winning the Mira Award on May 15.

Stay plugged in for that!