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The future of business is not ‘Up In The Air’. It’s ‘Up In The Cloud’.


From time to time, when I’m sitting in an airplane, I think about the movie “Up In the Air.”

I’m not thinking about how the main character feels most comfortable when flying from place to place, or how he has the awful task of firing good people on the ground.

No, I think of a certain scene where the lead, played by George Clooney, informs a person he’s just sacked that “anybody who ever built an empire or changed the world sat where you are now.”

Some people might find that line glib or offensive. And I can understand that.

But I’m taken with the idea that no matter a person’s circumstance, no matter where they are sitting, they can build an empire or change the world.

It’s not about the IT guy anymore

You see, I work for an IT company during a time where IT is no longer about the office IT guy.

You remember the office IT guy, the colleague cast to the Siberia of your office, left alone in an air-conditioned, server-filled room situated near the company toilet?

Yup, that guy, the person we’d beckon when our computers crashed and Control-Alt-Delete wasn’t enough.

Thankfully, IT is no longer about the office IT guy. IT grew up, left the back rooms and became something that is part of our daily lives. IT is now about us.

From our private e-mail accounts to the apps we download, IT is now an in-demand commodity – much like the water we drink.  Thanks to the phenomenon known as Cloud Computing, IT has arrived, and opened its arms to everyone around the planet.

Cloud Computing forgets no one

Cloud Computing is an IT innovation that pools together all IT resources (applications, platforms, and IT infrastructure), places them on shared servers and gives any user access to all of it online. Cloud offers ease, scalability and pennies-on-the-dollar affordability.

One example of Cloud Computing is your free e-mail account, which is stored on a shared server and retrieved over the Internet.

With Cloud, IT is now easily consumable, low cost and available to all, making it truly the fifth utility.

Cloud Computing in Australia

In Australia and New Zealand, Cloud has already created opportunities for a new class of entrepreneurs and start-ups.

For example, if you want to open shops in five Australian cities, you no longer have to buy multiple servers and pay a system administrator to fix problems.

Instead you can sign up with a Cloud provider, spin up a server quickly and begin your IT journey. You could save even more costs by deciding to sell your merchandise solely online.

Companies like Xero, Trustdefender and saasu.com have blossomed online without having to pay tens of thousands of dollars for servers and expensive bandwidth costs.

By sharing a server or servers, these new companies pay only for what they use and do so with international bandwidth and easy scalability. They’re carving out a name for themselves – both at home and abroad.

In the coming months and years, more of these success stories will undoubtedly appear as Australia’s National Broadband Network will only bolster the IT revolution in the region.

The NBN will afford residents and companies even more opportunities and growth as they sell products and services locally and compete overseas.

Whether you’re a professional in Sydney, an artist in Melbourne, or a dreamer in Darwin, you don’t have to wait. Your time is now.

Thanks to IT, no matter where you’re sitting or how you got there, you can build an empire, change the world – or better yet, do both. The future of business is not ‘Up In The Air’. It’s ‘Up In The Cloud’.

Jim Fagan is VP and Managing Director for Rackspace APAC. He oversees Rackspace Hosting and Fanatical Support in the region while managing sales, marketing, channel and data center operations.

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