Global Sourcing with Cloud Computing and Virtualization

Normally cloud computing is still being seen as a fad, a hype word and something you’d associate with the Homer Simpson’s “Do’h” the minute you hear someone talking about it. Virtualization was same about 10 years ago when I started dabbling with this little tool.

10 years ahead we have had two economic recessions, 9/11, Iraq/Afgan war and obviously the star of it all the Great Recession, which could have been depressions if TARP etc wasn’t put in place by countries on a global level.

Today I see cloud computing or actually to be very fair, the Internet-Based Computing, still as a hype when it comes to the enterprise. It works excellent on a consumer level, where you can challenge suppliers on price, compare prices and get the best product. This has happened for a long time with players like Amazon doing rather well by selling you cheap stuff while pushing their suppliers under extreme pressure. End result? You and I could buy cheaper prices.

For instance, at Quantum Step we were holding our private-buyer forum at Renaissance Hotel, at Zurich where we had several large companies such as Roche, Novartis, UBS, Credit Suisse, Syngenta, Swiss Re, Lonza etc. In the hotel I used the flexible price-per-minute to check-in for my flight. That was great! I spent 4 minutes and paid and left.

Now large global companies are engaging with us because we are carefully evaluating the effect of the clouds/internet for large enterprise that have traditionally been in a typical brick-and-mortar business mode. That is changing slowly although the security, privacy, transparency and control are still key issues on the internet.

Whether you are in oil/gas, chemicals, plastics, pharma, steel, it really comes down to sourcing your activities and work in a dynamically evolving world economy. You cannot just shift your employees or work to India alone, you must adopt an “elastic strategy” where your growth tells you where you are and opportunities tell you where you should be.

We will soon be publishing our new book called “Emerging Models in Infrastructure Sourcing” where we have invited several players from all sectors to participate in it.

To conclude

The world is changing dramatically. Workers are getting mobile and entrepreneurial. Enterprises cannot solely rely on technology or some leaders but generally cross-functionally collaborative workforce that is “thinking global sourcing” in the way they conduct business in public and private lives.

Old models and old advisories are struggling to find a place in this new emerging world where countries like India, China, Brasil etc will be the growth-motors for the global economy.