At the CeBIT in the year 2000 A.D. I was interviewed by several journalists about our expectations to the ASP delivery format. How fast would it knock out the traditional (old economy?) license models? What would the pricing policies be? How would we manage the cash flow issues? How could we guarantee availability? How could we guarantee client privacy? How would we manage customizations?
Fortunately, we were well prepared, because when the hype is running you better provide some answer or you will not get any air time. In 2000 ASP stood for Application Service Provider and was essentially the same as Software as a Service.
In 2000 the ASP delivery format was hype only. The answers we provided were very fluffy and was a smokescreen for the fact that we couldn’t deliver anything. We hated the idea as we knew it would kill our business model.
Welcome to the future
Today this is very different.
When I get up in the morning I turn on my Mac. I start up BaseCamp to check the schedule for the day. Then I start up 14dayz to keep track of my time. I check our Intranet (Google Sites) and then I go to the gym.
When I get back I check my mails (Google Apps) and start the days work. TripIT will keep me updated on my travel plans and let me know if I am travelling to the same place as some of my associates and friends. Later in the day, I Doodle some meeting coordinates with people in different companies and time zones. Later I check on the status of some client projects in his SugarCRM and post my status report on his Wiki. In between, I have Skype conversations with clients and a couple of conference calls supported by DimDim (acquired by Salesforce.com).
I basically live in the Cloud (the gym is still just in the room upstairs). I was then very surprised to see the IDC analysis of Cloud Computing in the Nordic countries. Less than 10% of the people interviewed were using cloud-based services. Less than 10% are familiar with the concept and are considering using cloud-based services. More than 80% of the respondents were not familiar with the concept and 30% found it uninteresting. We are used to clouds in the Nordics, and we often go south to enjoy the sunshine. But I don’t think we can escape this “Cloud”.
One thing is to use the cloud, another is to invent it. I do hope that the Nordic software industry is more busy inventing cloud-based services than the user community is embracing it.