My personal technology cloud continues to morph regularly. My personal cloud is the mix of web services that I use as part of my everyday life. As with most people, I continue to evaluate my cloud on a regular basis as new entrants mature their offerings. The list below describes the winners and loser for 2009 – please share your suggestions for the right mix of providers.
Before adding or changing a service provider, consider the following items to guide your decision making:
- What is the switching cost? Just like with businesses, there is a cost to make changes from provider A to B. Can the data be moved and how difficult is the process? Will any data be lost?
- What is the value proposition of the new service? Many services capture our attention with a few new capabilities but it is critical to ensure that it also provides all the core elements as well. Sometimes these might be coming in later releases.
- How does the new service fit into my current mix of technologies? For example, a new service that does not support my mobile device cannot be adopted. Also, a service that requires data duplication rather than synchronization from an existing master data location will cause you plenty of headache trying to reconcile data in the future.
- How is this service differentiated from competitors? I have noticed an increasing trend that most service categories have at least three to five vendors. Wikis are a prime example. You will need to do some research to find the best providers. How many variations does one need?
Not everyone’s needs are the same. I am a mid-30s marketing / business executive, travels frequently (both business and pleasure), works from everywhere, enjoys technology, and is willing to invest to learn how to best take advantage of more advanced features. If you share some of my characteristics, the list below highlights some of my major adoption changes that have enabled me to become more productive.
To keep the length manageable, I will share the full list and blog a few categories at a time. Please subscribe for future installments! Let me know if you disagree with any of these selections or have others to suggest. Enjoy.
6. News / Special interests: RSS with Google Reader has replaced Personal portals