Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

"Why Cloud is A Boon for Entrepreneurs? "

Srinivasan Sundara Rajan
Sr. Solution Architect
Srinivasan Sundara Rajan works at Hewlett Packard as a MASTER Solution Architect. His primary focus is on enabling SOA through Legacy Modernization for Manufacturing Industries. He has worked as a consultant for Compuware, Verizon and other organizations in the earlier parts of career. He has over 19 years of experience in Architecting multi tiered applications for large enterprises.Srinivasan is actively contributing to the Cloud Community as an Evangelist by providing value proposition of cloud for large enterprises. Due to his writing on Cloud, he has been recognized as one of Top 100 bloggers about Cloud Computing and considered as for the Cloud Thought Leadership Series conducted by Robert Duffner (Windows Azure Product Director). Srinivasan has also spoken about Cloud in various conferences.

Cloud Computing  holds a unique distinction  among all the  IT  inventions  in the past two decades, in the sense  it  really simplifies  the concept of  enabling  business capability through  Information Technology  resources,  by a   Self  Service,  Net work Enabled provisioning mechanism.  This ensures  that  the Information Needs  for business  are now available  as  a  service  which can be consumed and can be served to various consumers.
So  if we carefully analyze the adoption of Cloud,  the major   Drivers  of Cloud Computing  or not the   Developer or IT Community  but the underlying  business itself. With the following points hold the key for its adoption.
  • IT  (Information Technology),  is  unable   to match the  Speed at which the  business wanted  to innovate  
  • Time To Market  of new Services and Capabilities  is a great concern for business
  • While there are  established IT shops around the world,  the   Capital Expenditure (CAPEX)  and Operational Expenditure (OPEX)  are high   such that the underlying  services provided by the business have to eat the cost, resulting in   non competitive pricing
  • Business is unable  to pick and choose   the  business processes they wanted to adopt to the changing  market scenarios
  • Business demand is fluctuating,  World Economy  is at cross roads,  Political and natural disasters add further unstability.  Current IT  does not  allow  businesses to expand  and shrunk on demand.
The above  points  clearly   highlight  that Cloud Computing  is a real enabler for  Business rather than IT.

Challenges Faced By  Entrepreneurs:

The very definition of  entrepreneurship is about  achieving   business capabilities  through  innovation and business  transformation.  However  becoming  an entrepreneur   is not an easy  one, various studies  have indicated the following challenges for entrepreneurs , we have also analyzed  some of the promises of Cloud  that can help   the  Entrepreneurs.

Challenges For  Entrepreneur Cloud Computing  Value Proposition
Financial Constraints and  low  investments at least initially.  While this could  be a  global phenomenon  more  risk minded the culture the spending patterns will be questioned  more by the Cloud   service models    aims  at  getting started  with the minimal infrastructure with the minimal possible   spending. Example are the   major  IaaS providers and their costing model.
Lack of Infrastructure, especially IT Related infrastructure  setup, especially things like setting up  net works, firewall, storage etc.
IaaS   (Infrastructure As  A Service)  abstracts the complexities of setting up the complex infrastructure and  enable them for  entrepreneurs.  A important  factor is the availability of  Map Reduce/ Hadoop and other High Performance Compute infrastructure that lets the  complex problem solving to be taken up by almost any one  even without proper infrastructure. 
Global   competition  and lack of  global methodologies and  solutions to support.
 So far  small  entrepreneurs  does not have a good  visibility of  Global  best practices  and methods that they can leverage  to  compete effectively  with global competitors.   However   viewing  all the solutions from a network enabled repository,  and  SaaS (Software As A Service) market place   makes  the solution scope of  entrepreneurs  wide open and make it global.

While  the   above  are  basic  tenants   of  Cloud Computing  that is obviously  useful  Entrepreneurs,   We are seeing  some truly  new roles    that are  not  available before, let us analyze those options . 

Cloud Reference Architecture:

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce has recently   created  a  Cloud Reference Architecture.    While   this is a standard  body  for USA,  however  this has  a far reaching impact  across the IT industry   , similar   Reference Architectures for Cloud  also created by  IT majors like HP, IBM  with very similar thought process.
The Cloud Reference Architecture identifies the major actors,  their activities and functions in  Cloud Computing. 

This  Reference Architecture  identifies Five major Actors:

  1. Cloud Consumer: Which is the  entity  that   uses  a service  created  by a Cloud Provider.
  2. Cloud  Provider: Entity which  creates   services  available over Cloud that can be consumer by the consumers.
  3. Cloud Carrier: An intermediary  that   provides  connectivity and transport.
  4. Cloud Auditor:A party that  can conduct independent assessment of cloud services, information  System operations, performance and security of the cloud implementation.
  5. Cloud Broker: An entity that manages the use, performance and delivery of cloud  services, and negotiates relationships between  Cloud Providers and Cloud Consumers.
Entrepreneurs  As  Cloud Brokers:

As evident  from the previous discussions   due to the  constraints,   it may take a while for the  new Entrepreneurs  to play the role of a  Cloud Provider  or a Cloud Carrier.   Even though the tenants  of Cloud Computing  will facilitate  them quickly to become one. However  several of the innovative   Entrepreneurs  have a huge potential  to play  the role of Cloud  Brokers.
As cloud computing evolves, the integration of cloud services can be too complex for cloud consumers to  manage. A cloud consumer may request cloud services from a cloud broker, instead of contacting a cloud provider directly. A cloud broker is an entity that manages the use, performance and delivery of cloud  services and negotiates relationships between cloud providers and cloud consumers.
This role   helps  entrepreneurs  to  provide  services  to  consumers without  any significant capital or  human investment.  Cloud Brokers  can achieve  this by multiple means.

Service Inter mediation:

In this scenario  an  entrepreneur  can  purchase service from a  provider and  value add it by  enhancing  with specific capabilities   and provide them  to consumers. For example a SaaS service provider may provide compliance solutions,  however   a  Service broker  can  ensure  state specific reporting  based on the larger compliance  data.

Service Aggregation:

In this scenario an entrepreneur can  purchase services from multiple providers    roll them up into a new service to be available for   consumers. This could be a typical   Credit approval scenario  of  multiple services  from Banks,  Credit Rating Agencies  and third parties can be aggregated to provide a larger service.


Innovation   can result  in financial benefits  and new capabilities only if  it  is  met the goal of  Time To Market.  Till now most entrepreneurs  had great ideas, but  they   were constrained by lack of resources  and   new business models like  Cloud Broker.
Now   with the points mentioned  above,  Cloud Computing  will provide them all the fair chance to stand up the competition  and come  up better which high lights the theme of this article that  Cloud is a Boon to Entrepreneurs.