Macro economic growth analysis applied to cloud ecosystems


I recently watched a TED speech by Yasheng Huang on economic growth of developing nations. He spoke about the role of infrastructure, democracy and literacy in GDP growth. It got me thinking and I started drawing parallels with information technology ecosystems.

Cloud computing is a mega trend and cloud ecosystems are undoubtedly still developing. Has infrastructure played a major role in growth of competing cloud ecosystems? Do PaaS/DaaS plays have an advantage over IaaS? With infrastructure the availability of both private and public cloud options and global geographic distribution of data centers is a key factor.

What is the impact of how democratic (‘open’) the cloud ecosystem is in its growth? Apple would be the equivalent of a China like closed single party society, where as Amazon could be considered the most liberal and democratic. The benefit of single party states in economic growth is that they can disregard citizen rights and force change on the society, but eventually an inflection point is reach after which democracy (wealth sharing) is required to sustain growth. Compare iPhone and Android ecosystems. What stage are the main cloud ecosystems in what is the optimal ‘political’ ideology for their stage in growth?

The conclusion in Huang’s presentation was that factor with the highest correlation to GDP growth is education and harnessing the fullness of human capital that society has to offer. I personally believe that the same applies for cloud ecosystems. The cloud vendors that invest early into partner education will experience the most growth. Vendors need to mobilize and harness the full potential of their partner networks. In reality most cloud solutions today are virtualized multitenant versions of their legacy on-premise solution, taking very little benefit of integration, data sharing and big data analytics capabilities within their cloud ecosystems. Its like buying a new car and never going past third gear. Cloud is all about the ecosystem and ecosystems are all about interconnectivity.

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