Sunday, October 26, 2008

Breaking down the saga of vendor lock-in

We dream of a world filled with different types of software’s available as-a-service which talks to each other and understand the language of business, not only code. Democratizing Technical Innovation using the internet - enabling greater competition & innovation in the marketplace - help customers to make the best choice at the best price point.

Since the day Amazon (R) released their EC 2 plans for running Windows, I just knew this couldn't have been timed better, specially with Microsoft's (R) own cloud offering 'Azure' hitting the market soon. This brings a few crucial insights for us, our industry and to our dream:

1. Rate of adoption in using cloud environments are bound to increase within different customer segments, especially due to the economic doldrums & the service model. Competition within cloud providers will also get the cycle to change – meaning a lot more emphasis will be on standardizing support services, SLA's and standardization of communication protocols, reliability, scalability on sudden surges of use & freedom for customers data.

(2) Fear of being locked in a cloud is surely to come down with competition heating up neck to neck with more feature choices, interoperability between clouds, open standard platforms such as Wolf and price wars. Contacts will move to contracts and evaluations will realize their due budgets for implementations. Guess, the transition from early majority to early adopters is finally beginning to start.

(3) Participation of a large foray of web application development platforms & SaaS applications are begining to mushroom, which will need to support multiple technology cloud environments as opposed to dominating customers with specific code & database driven technology offering. Meaning, you could be a web application development PaaS sitting on a specific cloud but you cannot limit your customer’s data and will, feel the need for adding support for your customers to switch between different clouds running on different environments and also introduce interoperability between different PaaS. Not the case for application development platforms on the internet, now.

(4) Emphasis will shift from thinking about enabling your organization web as a complex technology decision towards a Strategic & Business Model decision which provides easy – seamless - business experience for your customers. I have talked about this in detail earlier ( True internet principles will reinforce as opposed to specific vendor dominance. Development of standards could become lot faster than what is it now.

(5) Configuring a cloud services is much easily done today than the traditional way of configuring a new database 20 years ago. If we agree to that, a lot of emphasis will shift from coding to creatively designing the best software service on the internet. This could spark the participation of a much larger audience in the field of information communication technology and bring disruptive innovation to the marketplace. Emphasis will shift from a company to a community, vis-à-vis programming ability to the ability to provide services on the cloud.

(6) The world of mashups and Interoperability is gone beyond Gas buddy, thank you all. I am fan of Google®, I love Microsoft ® and have cut code using object based programming for several long years. The magic of cloud computing is that it works as a bridge between the commercial world and the open source environment –a bridge where have not’s can participate due to the openess and low cost of usage and so will the enterprise functional guys along with their programming teams. It is a different matter that Microsoft® UI library is not on rent as a service, but if it did – I would love to drop a Business Rule to call a webservice and mashup with a customer cloud based data service to make the best looking & working ERP for them. Mass customization for Enterprises using mashup technology - Made available OnRent - huh :)

(7) Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) is off the ground and out of the box (It's in the cloud) - Most CIO's are planning to consume services as opposed to building them which solves their business problem real time. They just can't be restrained by what's in the box, pressures are mounting very high. Remember Bridgestone Corp and Prof. C.K. Prahalad: 'If imagination is key to innovation, the Japanese tyre manufacturer Bridgestone Corporation has plenty of it and the latest innovation from their assembly line is proof enough. Sealing the gap between products and services, Bridgestone has created a line of sensor fitted tyres that send signals of its wear and tear to a network helping fleet owners keep track of the usage of tyres. With this Bridgestone is selling an experience in a physical product'. SOA over cloud delivers such services, can you imagine something that you would need? Or, are you still dealing with managing cultural, political, quality and governance issues for your SOA architecture?

Guess it’s time to walk the talk – do you have a programmable read-write platform which manages data across clouds or even a private database? Thinking cloud? Need interoperability across Business applications and web communities?

Please talk to us, we have some more thoughts…

Sunny Ghosh
Wolf Platform-as-a-Service

NOTE: The views expressed above are purely personal and for informational purposes only. WOLF FRAMEWORKS INDIA PVT. LTD MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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