From Crossing the Chasm to Reaching the Tipping Point

By Shawn Moore June 2, 2017 Articles and Editorials

Many businesses face the same problems and as a result, the planet’s sharpest minds have attempted to find solutions. Two such people are Geoffrey Moore, author of the widely popular book “Crossing the Chasm”, and Malcolm Gladwell, author of “The Tipping Point”. Both of these books compliment and even reference each other in their comprehensive look at the major problem all businesses and products face: How do you reach mass-market adoption?

Even the largest corporations ask themselves this question when rolling out new products or new services offerings. Throwing money at this universal problem is not the answer. In fact, there is no singular answer but an organic evolution that, when carefully examined, is a map to mass-market adoption. This map is laid out for the world to see in both of the aforementioned books but today; we’re going to use these books as a framework to discuss how global organizations have finally crossed the chasm and are in the process of reaching the tipping point when it comes to cloud computing.

It’s impossible to discuss cloud computing without discussing Amazon Web Services, the true catalyst that eventually led to mass adoption of cloud computing technologies. Yes, there is a number of cloud computing providers today, but in 2006 when AWS was founded, Google and Microsoft hadn’t even considered building their own cloud offerings. Google Cloud launched five years later; Microsoft Azure launched four years later. Despite Amazon being first to go “all-in” with their new offering, it took a few years for their technology, particularly their EC2 server offering, to reach a level of maturity where early adopters would dip their toes in the water. At that time, the technology simply wasn’t ready, and the business world viewed the cloud as unreliable if they even considered it at all. That all changed with a few visionaries that paved the way for the rest.

Around three years after the founding of AWS, a number of startups trying to disrupt their respective industries experimented with cloud computing to varying degrees of success. Between 2008 and 2011, everything changed when startups that were “early adopters” of cloud computing technologies such as Spotify, Netflix, Airbnb and Twilio showcased the benefits of cloud computing to the world through the massive adoption of their respective products. Despite this success and newfound attention focused on the cloud, it was still too early for widespread adoption, even by Fortune 500 companies.

A perfect storm came together that knocked down the concerns most had about cloud computing, namely security and reliability, and would eventually lead to an urgent race to the cloud. Of course it all started with AWS in 2006, but it would take a few years for AWS to even reach the technological maturity required to scale cloud technologies. With the advent of IoT, or the “Internet of Things”, large organizations started to use IoT technologies like smart home products and wearables, and everything from cars to tractor-trailers and oil drills were outfitted with sensors. What these mega corporations didn’t know at the time was these new technologies in IoT were all cloud-based. Suddenly the cloud became much more appealing.

While IoT was getting all of the publicity, AWS continued to iterate and expand their cloud offering. Tech enthusiasts who had adopted cloud technologies began rapidly developing tools to complement and enhance existing cloud technologies. The igniting spark that led to the race to the cloud was the ability for organizations to configure their cloud environments using fully scripted architecture, as well as the evolution, price reduction and availability of server redundancy, namely across multiple regions. What previously took organizations months to complete could now be done in minutes. While it used to take months or weeks to update Solodev to its latest software version for our customers, it now takes the simple click of a button. While IT departments across the globe began their research into the cloud years beforehand, they now had the data to prove the value of the cloud to decision makers at their organizations. In 2014, cloud computing finally crossed the chasm, shifting from limited usage by early adopters to more broad adoption by what Geoffrey Moore refers to as “the early majority.”

The perfect storm also included the aging of outdated technologies and data centers built during the early days of the Internet. As these data centers began to age to obscurity, the major decision organizations faced was whether to renovate their data centers, requiring a massive investment, and keep everything on-premise – or – to move to the cloud where they could scale for increased productivity and efficiency on all fronts. With the advent of technologies like continuous integration, AWS CloudFront, Chef, Docker and hundreds of other tools, organizations could now control their computing resources and speed up software updates while keeping their websites and applications redundant across multiple servers in different regions with absolutely no downtime.

Around 2015 or 2016, cloud computing finally reached the tipping point and became adopted by its many skeptics and conservatives. As a result, a race to the cloud began and is still in full swing as Fortune 500 companies try to catch up to smaller, more agile organizations who found success faster in migrating their operations into true “cloud-based” businesses. Solodev was a part of the early majority of cloud computing, beginning our efforts to rebuild Solodev for the AWS Cloud in 2013 once the technology had fully matured in a way that was scalable, reliable and affordable. After three years of rebuilding the Solodev Content Management System (CMS) to be a true cloud-based solution, the timing couldn’t have been better as the year Solodev was named the “Best Cloud CMS” was the same year cloud computing truly hit its tipping point. Despite being a relatively small software company, we have the expertise and agility to help Fortune 500 organizations move their massive ecosystem of products, services, websites and applications to the cloud and saw it first hand after appearing at Amazon Web Services re:Invent in 2016.

Almost every single phone call, email or inquiry Solodev receives involves large organizations trying to move to the cloud—and we are uniquely positioned to serve that need. Being early in the adoption of cloud computing, the Solodev team has experience with the kind of innovation that most large conglomerates simply can’t risk. It was our belief in the cloud, and our commitment to unlocking the potential of the cloud in the enterprise CMS industry, that brought us to the point of being able to take advantage of the tipping point and bring other organizations to the cloud. Today the tipping point has been reached, and in one-way or another, everyone is moving to the cloud. Now, the real focus is on how to truly build a “cloud-based” business rather than simply making your product or service available on the cloud.

For more information on how Solodev can help bring your organization to the cloud visit www.solodev.com or call 1-800-859-7656

About the Author

Shawn Moore is the founder & CTO of Solodev and the driving force behind the Solodev Web Experience Platform. A visionary leader, Shawn has strategically grown Solodev from its inception as a small web design company to a successful software company that services clients across the nation and has been named to the Inc. 5000’s fastest growing private companies for the past two years in a row.

Winner of several industry awards for Best CTO and CIO, Shawn Moore is changing the content management landscape with Solodev. With over a decade of executive experience serving as CEO of Solodev and COO for software company Helium Flash, Shawn has the industry knowledge and product passion that continues to drive the development of the Solodev Platform. He is a graduate of Stetson University and often speaks on IT related trends and topics at conferences and universities across the state.

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