At the recent GigaOM Structure event, renowned venture capitalist Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures made a few very profound comments about dealing with the uncertainty of technology. Captured in The Virtualization Practice blog, Khosla’s comments can be summarized as follows:
- You have to optimize for change and adaptability because you cannot know what you are going to face next year.
- Customers do not have a clue as to where their businesses are going to go, so begin building the systems now that will allow them to react quickly.
- Plan not to plan; plan to be agile.
So what does this mean for cloud service providers?
First, it means that anyone who is telling you with absolute certainty where the cloud will be in three to five years is drinking way too much of their own Kool-aid and should probably not be trusted.
Second, it means you need a cloud platform that is “future proof” and very flexible. Specifically, a platform that allows you to make quick changes to:
- The services you offer
- How your services will be bundled and priced
- Special deals and promotions
- How you will interact with your channel (or potential channel)
- How you will go to market with these services
Ultimately you want to be able to “fail fast” as well as rapidly create new variations on what is working. You also want to be able to capitalize on whatever the “hot trend” turns out to be next quarter, next year or in three years.
The need for platform speed and flexibility is something to keep top of mind if you are involved in the selection or management of a cloud platform for your company.