In the chat Bezos also discussed his assertion from an earlier interview that- with customers being more connected through social media and through the transparency that internet and big data is bringing to all markets – the effective way of doing business is flipping from spending 30% on creating a product and 70% on “shouting about it” (making sure – through marketing and sales activities – that people know about it and buy it) to the reverse. A new reality, where it makes more sense to spend the majority of energy, effort and cost on building the best possible product and a significantly smaller effort on communication and delivery. In other words, the more transparent markets are becoming, the more product quality (being fit for purpose) will rule success.
This in turn makes working on product quality (though principles such as Lean) more important, but – taking this beyond was what was said on stage – is also likely to drive total costs down and result in lower overall prices. For the enterprise IT industry – where a lot of the product costs stem from the lengthy sales & implementation cycles that traditional complex enterprise products require – this may turn out to be a very disruptive development. In fact, earlier in the week Amazon had a panel of their partners discuss their experiences and – although they all created some impressive new cloud successes for their customers – you could sense they all realized that going forward the world was no longer going to be what it was before.
A valid question to ask is whether the whole Enterprise IT industry will follow this trend. In other words: what percentage of large enterprise organizations will be interested (and able!) to adopt the self service, super market model of the cloud (see also A Cloud That Cares? Or About Eating Your Cloud And Having it too). Will there be a large percentage that prefers ready made meals (instead of home cooking using super market ingredients – One could think of SaaS solutions in this context) or will there be a significant number of organizations that – voluntarily or forced by a lack of in house capabilities – continues to prefer a full service restaurant model, where the provider does not just supply the ingredients, but also does most of the day to day work?
Let’s end with a question you may want to ask yourself: When looking at your markets and customers, how fast are they moving from a 30/70 to a 70/30 model and how prepared is your organization for that?
* In one of my first Gartner blog posts I wrote about the Rise of IT-dustrialization , earlier publications include “LEAN and the Art of Cloud Computing Management (2010)” and my LeanITmanager blog.