Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

Mar 16 2009   3:19PM GMT

Overheard – “Just in Time” everything

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

“The Depression is good for the country. The only problem is that it might not last long enough in which case people might not learn enough from it.”

Henry Ford

Today’s Word of the Day is just-in-time manufacturing.  The goal of JIT is to produce and deliver product at the required time in the required quantity to fill specific orders.  (The opposite is tying production to a theoretical forecast or schedule.  It’s called just-in-case manufacturing or buffer manufacturing.)

So I’m reading about Henry Ford and thinking about his quote — and wondering how JIT correlates with cloud computing. The goals of cloud computing are pretty much the same as those for JIT.   Be efficient.

It seems to me that cloud computing is very much just-in-time computing.  Rumor has it that the original name for Amazon’s EC3 (Elastic Compute Cloud) was originally  “elastic computing capacity.”   (The cloud came in when they were marketing the idea and used the cloud symbol on flow charts to represent the Internet.)

Would we be embracing the concept of cloud computing quite as willingly for anything more than testing if the economy was healthy?  I’m not sure sure adoption would be as swift.  It would take more time to convince IT administrators to give up control if we weren’t in dire straights.

So back to Henry Ford and his quote — what lessons will we learn as we plow our way through today’s depression?  As IT departments look for ways to streamline their architectures, they’re going to be creative.

So next time you turn on the news and hear how the sky is falling, look up.  It’s just new ideas filtering down from the cloud.

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