Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Cloud Changes Our World in Many Ways ~ A Concrete Example

The basic premise is easy enough to understand.

Whether you have a desktop computer with a central processing unit - or a data center with acres of mainframes, "the cloud" is your new alternative.

The cloud is sometimes called, derisively and otherwise, "someone else's computer". This is correct in a way, and it is the subject for a different conversation some other time.

The gist of the cloud is you can scrap that desktop CPU or acres of mainframes and put all the stuff you have there on someone else's computer.

Image result for large computers

This leads you to the question:

On whose computer do you want to put your stuff?

Options abound. The desktop owner will certainly have less to worry about than the owner of mainframes. 

The owner of mainframes has much to consider. 

  • Do we move all of our stuff or only some? 
  • Do we move our stuff all at once or in stages?
  • How will we know no one else can see our stuff?

The questions only begin there. And we shall not attempt to provide the answers here.

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Suffice it to say that companies like Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and Amazon Web Services are all competing to dominate the cloud.

Let's say you have evaluated your cloud needs, selected the right cloud vendor and moved all of your stuff to the cloud. 

Let's say you are in the concrete business. In a big way. You have major projects in progress around the globe. Major clients want to know when you have poured your concrete, because other major contractors are waiting to do what they must do after your concrete is poured.

Image result for rebar concrete

Not so long ago you would have to rely on field engineers and on-site personnel to report when they started to pour concrete. They had to relay that information in a manual or semi-automated manner to people who needed to know. 

Many along the way may have doubted the veracity of such information. Field personnel have been known to exaggerate or just plain lie to save themselves or their employer's hide. After all, millions of dollars are at stake, perhaps in performance incentives, future projects - or survival of the company itself.

Consider this very real alternative using cloud based technology. Before you pour the first drop of concrete, you affix sensors to underlying rebar. Those sensors communicate to the cloud the instant they are dampened by concrete.

Image result for rebar concrete

Within moments the entire population who needs to know knows. With certainty. There is no denying it. No delayed communications. No questionable field reports. You have done what you committed to do when you said you would do it.

Imagine then what that means to the client or clients who hired you to pour concrete. They just saved precious time and dollars. They may now turn to the next contractors and hold their hands to the fire to perform on time. 

Heaven forbid those next contractors do not have cloud based accountability built into their processes. Your client and theirs will not want to hear that fields reports are delayed or unreliable.  

You have spoiled your clients. You saved them untold hours and dollars. You made them look like rock stars to their clients.

You are a Concrete Rock Star!!!

All of this is possible today. It is not news to some, but it may come as a surprise to many.

Yet a company can not facilitate this capability in an instant. It begins with deciding what to do with all that stuff on your mainframes. It is a good idea to get started now.

Image result for get started now