Written by Wayne Houlden, CEO, Janison
Recently Deloitte released a report in Australia that showed the Internet was responsible for 3.6 per cent of Australia’s GDP ($50 billion) in 2010 and that it is predicted to grow to $70 billion by 2016. Google Australia’s Managing Director, Nick Leeder, was also interviewed and confirmed his company’s agreement with the report, adding a number of very interesting facts – one of which stood out for me; “For every job lost through online technologies, 2.6 would be created.”
As an employer and an innovative ICT business owner, that certainly resonated with me. When I reflected on the facts I wondered about some of the key factors for such growth and for me what might be the most important ones?
Cloud computing easily came out on top. In fact, I’m not sure whether the real potential for cloud computing to change and effect the growth of the digital economy is yet fully accounted for. Unfortunately, the word “cloud” is used for just about everything related to ICT these days. It’s become almost a requirement that any technology related to the internet must have a “cloud” option. But for me, real cloud computing is the concept of being able to build software applications that do not need to run on purchased or rented hardware. cloud software applications run on a cloud platform and the cost to run the software over a period of time is dependent only on the amount of resources consumed during that period.
For our business, this form of cloud computing is changing the way we think of future opportunities. We have already built one application, designed primarily to run on cloud infrastructure that has been quite successful, that being a cloud based assessment system that can be used to provide online school assessments to tens of thousands of students all at once.
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Applications like this would normally have required large investments in computing infrastructure, much of which would lay unused until the application was being fully utilised, which even then, may only happen from time to time. So the risks involved and the financial investments required to build and offer such services were very difficult for small companies to make.
Now with cloud computing, all this changes. Innovative software developers can easily build and deploy applications on affordable cloud infrastructure and create payment and income models that support the cost of the infrastructure as the business grows.
I think this has the potential to really accelerate the use of the internet and the applications that run on it. Anybody can take an idea, develop and deliver it to the global market. The next set of ideas such as Gmail, iTunes, eBay and LinkedIn could come from anywhere and probably will.
Watch this space.