You have to admit that we are really good at dreaming up new terms in the world of technology; and every now and then (ok, more often than not), the first time you hear these new terms it can really make you pause.

I can remember the first time I heard the term “virtual appliance” a couple of years ago – I honestly thought that the person who mentioned that to me was joking around…..Now it’s a mainstream distribution vehicle.

My other favorite was the first time I heard the term “elastic” computing. I am not sure if Amazon coined this term, but again it made me pause when I first heard of Amazon’s Elastic Computing environment. Now, everyone knows that cloud is by definition virtualized, and one of the main benefits are the economics of quickly scaling compute power up to meet demand.

Yet, as we continue to make great progress leveraging the cloud as an infrastructure to deliver a performance management solution, I am constantly reminded that elastic means small too. What I mean by this is that the cloud allows customers to start as large OR as small as they want in a deployment, with no cost penalty.

Certainly there are some economies of scale, but when compared to the deployment of onsite software, the economics of personnel, computers, licenses, storage, etc were generally so high that unless you started with, or committed to a large deployment, it was cost prohibitive to “give it a try.”

Cloud services enable customers to start at any scale, and deliver value to the buyer before asking for a large commitment.

This is a massive shift in the buying cycle AND selling process as compared to the traditional enterprise software model. Never before have enterprise software customers been able to start small – and still have the option of massive growth using a cloud based model.

With the elastic computing model comes the elastic sales model, the elastic deployment model – the elastic business model. Elastic…a cool concept for computing. Welcome to the new world.