I often read Nicholas Carr’s blog. He recently wrote an article in the Financial Times about Bill Gates and his departure meaning… very instructive!
To sum up:
Bill Gates is leaving Microsoft quite worried about the rise of internet-based computing:
The broad and rich foundation of the internet will unleash a ‘services wave’ of applications and experiences available instantly. This new wave will be very disruptive”, B.Gates said.
Indeed, Google is building “massive data centre” described as a complex information-processor, equivalent of a “nuclear power station, able to pump data and software into millions of homes and businesses”, that no other corporate computing system “can match the efficiency, speed, and flexibility”.
Google is now “supplying services such as word processing, spreadsheets, and e-mail – programs that have long been the mainstays of Microsoft’s profitability”…Other utility providers such as Salesforce.com also “threaten to render large parts of the IT industry obsolete”.
Why? Because “if people and businesses can rely on central stations to fulfill all or most of their computing requirements, they will be able to slash the money they spend on their own hardware and software […] and Business units and even individual employees will be able to control the processing of information directly, without the need for legions of technical specialists”.
Then, the “transformation in the supply of computing” will have consequences.
Traditional vendors are now “taking steps to adapt to the utility age. Oracle and SAP have begun offering web-based software services in addition to their traditional applications. Even large IT consulting firms such as Accenture, which grew rich on the complexity of traditional information systems, are establishing practices devoted to helping clients make the shift to utility services. Nobody wants to be left behind”.
Nicholas Carr notes that this computing revolution is “the biggest upheaval since the invention of the PC in the 1970s”. He even compared it to what happened to mechanical power 100 years ago: “Like data-processing today, power generation was assumed to be an intrinsic part of doing business […] ( but today) the commercial and social ramifications of the democratization of electricity would be hard to overstate. Electric light altered the rhythms of life, electric assembly lines redefined work, and electric appliances brought the Industrial Revolution into the home”.
I personally like one of his last sentences: “The future of computing belongs to the new utilitarians”. It sounds like it belongs to my generation (in their 20’s …). We want simple ways to reach our data, we want to concentrate on core business and core analytics, not on hardware or software or machinery. New utilitarians (I personally understand ‘people from the Utility planet’) buy on the cloud, fall in love on the cloud and can become rock stars on the cloud. The new Utilitarians now want to work through, via and with the cloud. We are parts of those new utilitarians. We hope you’ll join our community! because our Business Intelligence product will be really cool!