Creating On-Demand Elastic Services

by Andrew Prokop | Arrow Systems Integration

Source: No Jitter

I said come on over, Baby
a whole lotta shakin' goin' on
I said come on over, Baby
Baby, you can't go wrong
we ain't fakin'
a whole lotta shakin' goin' on
- Dave "Curlee" Williams

There is a tectonic shift in how we transact business. For the longest time, the model has been that producers created branded products. For instance, Ford built cars. Those cars had unique names that carried the Ford label on the front grill and back hatch. The cars were sent to dealers around the world who sold them to people who were set on buying a Ford. Ford's marketing department was focused (pardon the pun) on making Ford's name and products instantly recognizable.

"Built Ford tough."

"Built for the road ahead."

"Have you driven a Ford lately?"


This producer/consumer relationship is based on the concept of creating and selling. Yes, there were nearly always companies in the middle that acted as resellers for a manufacturer's products, but the end result was still the same. Money was made by creating desirable products and then selling those products to willing customers.

What Ford did not do was sell access to their infrastructure that made those cars. They didn't allow a consumer to walk into one of their plants, purchase raw and finished materials, and build his or her own model of car. As much as I would love to design and make the "Andrew Car," Ford is not in the business of helping me do that.

But what if Ford did allow me to come in and build my own car? Sure, I would need the help of trained engineers and auto workers, but why couldn't they be part of the deal. I fly to Detroit, pay my money, and Ford provides me with the people and materials needed to build the Andrew Car.

Does this sound farfetched? Perhaps when it comes to building an automobile, but how about a Web service? Isn't that what you do when you create a GoDaddy hosted website? You don't buy your own servers, software, and network. You don't purchase a contract with an ISP. Heck, with all the templates and tools that GoDaddy makes available, you don't need to know a thing about HTML or any other aspect of designing a webpage. All you need to do is pay money, come up with some words and pictures, and voila, you have a working website. Clearly, this is a business model that can and does work.

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