Cloud Computing is the New Nimbyism

NIMBY is an acronym for “Not In My Back Yard” and its derivative term Nimbyism usually refers to the philosophy of opposing construction projects or other new developments, which would be performed too close to your residence or your business, because even though those new developments could provide widespread benefits, they might just be a disruption to you.  So, for example, yes, please build that new airport or hospital or power plant that our city needs — just don’t build it too close to my back yard.

For a long time, midsize businesses viewed their information technology (IT) department as a Nimbyistic disruption, meaning that they viewed IT as a necessary cost of doing business, but one that also took up valuable space and time, and distracted their focus away from their core competencies, which, for most midsize businesses, are supported by but not directly related to IT.

Nowadays, cloud computing is providing a new — and far more positive — spin on Nimbyism by allowing midsize businesses to free up space in their back yard (where, in my experience, many midsize businesses keep their IT department) as well as free up their time to focus on mission-critical business activities by leveraging more cloud-based IT services, which also allows them to scale up their IT during peak business periods without requiring them to first spend time and money building a bigger back yard.

Shifting to a weather analogy, stratus clouds are characterized by horizontal layering with a uniform base, and nimbostratus clouds are stratus clouds of moderate vertical development, signifying the onset of steady, moderate to heavy, precipitation.

We could say cloud computing is the nimby-stratus IT clouds providing midsize businesses with a uniform base of IT services, which can quickly scale horizontally and/or vertically with the agility to adapt to best serve their evolving business needs.

The nimbleness of the new Nimbyism facilitated by cloud computing is providing another weather-related business insight that’s helping midsize businesses forecast a promising future, hopefully signifying the onset of steady, moderate to heavy, profitability.


This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.