[LINK] How the Web OS has begun to reshape IT and business

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Mon Sep 7 21:25:24 AEST 2009

There's a lot of talk these days about cloud computing. Nicholas Carr 
wrote an article

The End of Corporate Computing

and gave an interview:

The ways cloud computing will disrupt IT

I don't dispute that new models of computing and the use of the web are 
on the horizon, but what I don't go along with is that they will bring 
about the death of the traditional IT department.

In my view cloud computing, Web 2.0 and Gov 2.0 will be part of new and 
different uses for computing and networks. Traditional IT departments 
will remain and grow, but they will represent a smaller fraction of an 
enterprise's total use of IT.

It has all happened before and is likely to happen again. IBM lost 
market share but is bigger than ever. Mainframe systems used to dominate 
IT departments now they don't but are still being bought.

Massive changes are going on in IT departments. Even with existing 
systems, the need for data storage is growing at an exponential rate. 
The biggest single cost in IT departments is electricity. The networked 
world is already ubiquitous.

Think about the changes that have occurred since the days before 
graphical browsers, only about 15 years ago. I get the feeling that we 
haven't seen anything like what's going to happen in the next 15 years.

But the old world of IT isn't going to be replaced. A bigger world is 
going to grow beside it and dwarf it.

Maybe I should find one of those senior citizens internet education 

Or get back to my day job trying to work out how to house all this new 
IT equipment.

How the Web OS has begun to reshape IT and business
Posted by Dion Hinchcliffe @ 9:01 am

These days in the halls of IT departments around the world there is a 
growing realization that the next wave of outsourcing, things like cloud 
computing and crowdsourcing, are going to require responses that will 
forever change the trajectory of their current relationship with the 
business, or finally cause them to be relegated as a primarily 
administrative, keep-the-lights-on function.

IT is going to either have to get more strategic to the business or get 
out of the way. Businesses too must grow a Web DNA. The proximal cause 
of this seems to be the growing domination of the global network that 
surrounds all businesses today: The Web. If you’ve read my writings here 
since 2006 you largely know what’s happening: Today’s highly evolved Web 
has grown far beyond its original roots in content distribution and 
communication. It has become a fully fledged platform for media (TV, 
movies, music, newspapers, gaming, etc. have been strongly disrupted by 
the Web and now largely reside there) as well as more strategic 
pursuits. Probably most significantly is computing in all its many 
forms. This ranges from low-level services such as raw compute power and 
storage to social computing, semantics, and collective intelligence.

But the advent of a Web OS is certainly not just an IT story. It’s also 
— and really mostly — a business story. Those who are trying to track 
the so-called “big shifts” in the 21st century, thinkers like John 
Hagel, are attempting to pin down the specific changes taking place in 
the world today. John recently noted that “we are moving from a 
relatively stable business environment to one characterized by rapid 
rates of change with ever more disruptions generating increasing 
uncertainty and unpredictability“. In this way, routinely transforming 
instability and rapid change from a threat (which it is to most 
businesses today) into opportunity is a core skill that organizations 
increasingly must be able to cultivate.

That much of the pace of change today is driven by the modern world’s 
pervasive and instant global flows of knowledge is largely due to 
influence of the Web and its billions of two-way touchpoints with nearly 
a third of the world’s population (including practically all of the 
developed world). In addition to ultra fast feedback loops that drive 
real-time action/response scenarios in the marketplace, the Web has also 
become an incredibly efficient, inexpensive, and easy-to-use delivery 
system for just about anything that an interface can be wrapped around.

This has created a new form of leverage in terms of the ability to 
change and adapt by tapping rapidly and deeply into on-demand resources 
(be they computing, data, or even people and ideas) in virtually 
real-time. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal noted that 
because of modern technology, particularly the Web, business 
“initiatives that used to take months and megabucks to coordinate and 
launch can often be started in seconds for cents.” Clearly, this is a 
brave new world, even if it’s one that’s still happening more on the 
edge than in the core of businesses today.

... more at the link, above.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

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