The Cloud Goes On and On: #TChat Recap

Recently I bought the new Journey album. Yes, Journey the rock band. You know we love pop culture here at TalentCulture. Why not? Yes.

I joked that I had bought the album — no wait, the 8-track — no wait, the cassette — no wait, the CD — no wait, I downloaded it to my laptop — no wait, I streamed it virtually to every device I own.

What’s cooler? The album, of course — no wait, the streaming is. Right?

Welcome to the world of cloud software and services. Not that it’s brand new; on-demand, web-based consumer and business software and services have been launching throughout the past decade, which includes Salesforce, Amazon, iTunes, Facebook, LinkedIn, SuccessFactors, Workday and many more. It’s just that now with hardware advances, mobile computing and the scalability of cloud computing and server farms all over the world, the cloud has hit mainstream. I don’t have to own my own servers or software or employ an IT staff. I can rent them and outsource them. The barriers to entry for starting a business are lower than they’ve ever been, even in the face of the most challenging business environment we’ve seen in most of our lifetimes.

It can’t be stated enough — what is literally amazing today is that we can control our offices via laptops, tablet computers and smartphones from virtually anywhere. Again, that’s because of software-as-a-service (SaaS) that allows me to purchase and use software online without having to download anything as well as cloud computing where the software is delivered more as a service rather than a product, giving me access to software, data access and storage services.

However, the cloud’s mainstream visibility is still more around the glitz and glamour of streaming music, entertainment, consumer software, apps and the social cloud we play in — these are all sexy cool and rich in marketing romance.

HR business software? Not so much. But that really doesn’t matter when software runs the world these days. Or, when it’s eating it according to Marc Andreessen, who co-founded Netscape and is now a general partner of the venture capital firm Andreessen-Horowitz:

More and more major businesses and industries are being run on software and delivered as online services—from movies to agriculture to national defense. Many of the winners are Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurial technology companies that are invading and overturning established industry structures. Over the next 10 years, I expect many more industries to be disrupted by software, with new world-beating Silicon Valley companies doing the disruption in more cases than not.

Why is this happening now? Six decades into the computer revolution, four decades since the invention of the microprocessor, and two decades into the rise of the modern Internet, all of the technology required to transform industries through software finally works and can be widely delivered at global scale.

Eating the world, running the world – however you want to view it, it’s happening, sexy or not, in Silicon Valley and many other places in the world, although I did have an interesting discussion last week with startup TribeHR co-founder Joseph Fung. They provide HR management software for small to mid-size companies. He argued that HR software can be sexy cool, especially if you’re focusing on the customer and end-user experience as well as creating an emotional connection between product and consumer. Tough to do, but with the innovative SaaS and cloud mash-ups I’ve seen this year alone addressing multiple business problems, he may be right. It doesn’t mean that every company is moving from install-based software to cloud-based, but the trend is growing.

What’s next?

Well, once HR business software self-configures and adapts automatically once deployed, providing talent acquisition and management recommendations automatically like Watson on AI steroids, then that’ll be the day HR business software stood sexy cool.

The Journey anthem Don’t Stop Believin’ turned 30 this year. I remember vividly buying the brand new album Escape and giving it its first spin on the turntable. It’s now the most downloadable song in the world.

Oh, the movie never ends, it goes on and on and on and on…

You can read Matt Charney’s precap here and here were the #TChat questions from last night:

  • Q1: What is the “cloud?”  To what extent does it impact our work today?
  • Q2: What are some of the biggest business benefits from cloud computing?
  • Q3: What are some of the drawbacks or potential landmines of the cloud?
  • Q4: How might cloud technologies impact recruiting, HR or job search?
  • Q5: What do leaders need to know about the cloud?  Any misconceptions?
  • Q6: What are some new or interesting applications of cloud technologies that you see evolving in the future?

The #TChat Twitter chat and #TChat Radio are created and hosted by @MeghanMBiro @KevinWGrossman and powered by our friends and partners @TalentCulture @Monster_WORKS @MonsterCareers and of course @Focus.