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By Purwa Hartono MSCNG BSCS.

Founder of Institute of Technology Purwadhika Nusantara

Is your business ready to face the changes, opportunities, and threats ?

Cloud Computing is no doubt going to accelerate and change the world where we live now to become a “CLOUD World”.  Can you imagine how is it look like and feel ?. What kind of life are you going to have ?.  Let’s follow this story……..

One morning at his home, Budi is awaken by the noise from the television that is broadcasting the program he has set since last night to be scheduled on that morning.  While watching the TV program, he takes his smartphone to turn on his car’s engine on the garage and to set 5 minutes later to activate the car’s air condition so that he can get into a fresh and cool car.

Then looking at his watch, he rush to get ready to go to the office.  On the way to the office, Budi turns on the car radio which has an unlimited collection of songs because it is directly connected to the internet to listen to his favorite songs while looking at his navigation screen and listening to the given direction that tells him what road to take to avoid traffic jam and other unwanted distraction along the way.  Suddenly, he remembers that he forgot to turn of the air condition at his home office room so he pick up his smartphone again and find out that it is true then turn it off while continuing his way to the office.

Once he arrives at the office, Budi opens his bag to take out his tablet pc which is very thin and light to start working.  He checks his email and other things on the company’s ERP system and find an instruction from his boss to make a customer visiting trip for some of the company’s best customers.

Budi then accesses the CRM system to get a suggestion for the top 10 best customers based on their sales data history.  Then he fills in the date range that the trip is going to be and click the “Proceed” button using his finger.  Just few seconds later he receives a pop-up reminder from his calendar system that the appointment with every single customer has been set, the airplane tickets has been booked, the hotel also has been reserved, the restaurants for lunch or dinner entertainment are ready, and the car needed for traveling has been arranged with the car rental company.  Just before he click “Confirm” he click “Synchronize” to his boss and wife’s calendar so that they can follow his trip and know his status.

Budi starts his business trip and visit his customer according to the sequence that has been arranged automatically based on the availability of his customers.  After completing visiting the first two customers, he receive another pop-up reminder that informs him one of the customer, the fifth on the visiting schedule list, request him to reschedule the appointment to the next day.  He click “Approved” because he does not want to disappoint the customer.  A while later he receives several notification pop-up from the company’s accountant that the additional one day hotel fee has been settled, the hotel that his staying has been added for one more day, and the car rental company that the car has also been rescheduled to the next day.

At evey customer visit, Budi always records the results for his boss to see on his tablet pc or smartphone which does not matter because both devices can connect to the company’s CRM system through the internet.  Sometimes he has to set up a video conference with his boss on the spot with the customer.

To shorten the story, Budi finally completed his business trip successfully.  On the way home from the airport, he again take his tablet PC and browsing for some restaurants to have a dinner with his wife and kids.  After finding the one he wants then he set the time and table location where he usually sit along with choosing the food menu and click “Proceed”.  A while later, he receives a pop up confirmation from the restaurant that everything is set according to his request and his arrival is expected.

Wow ! do you like that kind of lifestyle where everything is automatic and efficient ?.  I do like it.  How can all of these happen ?.  Look at the picture below which shows all the components involved in the Budi’s business trip story.  All of these for sure are made possible by Cloud Computing technology which also exists because of its preceding technologies namey INTERNET, SOA (Service Oriented Architecture), and WEB SERVICES.

Cloud World

I believe that I do not have to give explanation about internet any more which is a communication protocol that connects the whole world and as the main infrastructure of the Cloud World.  SOA is a computing system architecture concept that suggests a service based system.

For those of you who have some programming experience should remember the era of C programming language where a software is just a collection of functions.  Then comes the OOP (Object Oriented Programming) where a software becomes just a collection of objects.  Each object has some parameters to communicate with each other such as properties showing the condition status of the object, events showing what can happen with the object, and methods showing what can be done with the objects.

SOA is similar to the OOP concept but it is one level above.  A SOA system is a collection of different software applications that provide standard defined services to each other so a perfect interoperability is achieved and on the other hand still maintain each internal differences details.  The different software is the different component shown at the picture such as Cloud Resto, Cloud CRM, Cloud ERP, etc.  Here is some explanation about each component:

  1. Cloud media which can be owned privately by a TV or Radio broadcasting companies (private cloud) or rented from a Cloud Service Provider (public cloud).  The Cloud media is connected to the Cloud TV at every home and Cloud Radio at every car which intercommunicates with each other based on a predefined services.
  2. Cloud Factory is a system provided by the car manufacturer to provide the services to Budi so that he can control his Cloud Car.
  3. Cloud Traffic which helps make Budi’s trip to the office as smooth as it is.  The cloud traffic system surely communicates with all the cloud cars and know exactly each location through the GPS.
  4. Cloud CRM is a a cloud based system that can also be built internally by his company or rented from the Cloud Services Provider (CSP).  This Cloud CRM is connected to each customer’s system (Cloud Customer) so that they can communicate automatically to serve the need in arranging the appointments for the visiting trip also with the Cloud Calendar of Budi and all his customers, Cloud Airline from the airline agency, Cloud Hotel from the hotel, and Cloud Resto from the restaurant also.
  5. Cloud ERP at Budi’s office which communicates with the Cloud Resto, Cloud Hotel, and Cloud Airline for the invoicing matter.
  6. Cloud Resto from a Software As A Service (SAAS) provider for all restaurants that provides an easy way to enjoy their services.

How about the Web Services ?.  What are its functions ?. Web services is a communication protocol between the different component or software in the SOA system.  You may say it is the implementation of SOA which defines more specifically the format of services so that the SOA can be realized.  This protocol that makes it possible for the interconnectiion and interoperability of all the components in SOA which might be using different platforms.

We have seen the changes that will happen and the technology that make them all possible.  How do we react with all the opportunities and threats that come along in the whole package ?.  It is so simple.  Just imagine if businesses such as airplane agencies, hotels, restaurants, and other in the Cloud World that do not adapt to the system.  Will their customers still be loyal to them while their competitors have moved to the cloud and giving better services like that ?.  I dare to say that “Go Cloud or Go Bankrupt” to businesses.  This is another important reason why moving to the cloud is not an option but a must.

Remember the old saying “People never plan to fail, but most of the time they fail to plan”.