Jan Brass Takes a Hard Look at the Cloud

Top Cloud Stories for This Week

SaaS Integration – the New Competitive Advantage

In many ways, cloud computing has sounded the death knell for larger integrated enterprise applications. Now instead of having a single system that tries to do everything, organizations large and small are picking and choosing their cloud services to solve individual problems. So it’s entirely possible that your marketing and HR for example to be serviced by two different SaaS applications. While this may have demolished the barrier between the IT capabilities of small businesses and large enterprises, it poses an entirely new challenge to get all of these diverse cloud applications working together seamlessly.

Data integration in real time is key so that employees are always working with the most recent information set. In-house applications that are responsible for data transformation and migration might well prove to be the next defining factor and provide new avenues for competitive advantages.

Developing Countries Leapfrog Existing Technology Barriers

When it comes to technology adoption, many developing countries are able to skip the steps that others had to take, learning from their mistakes along the way. We saw this with the telephone system when new markets leapfrogged landline infrastructure and moved directly to wireless. We are seeing something of the same trend when it comes to adoption of cloud technologies.

Developed business markets often have an inbuilt resistance to cloud technology due to their misgivings and an inherent fear of change. Developing countries however have no such qualms and are making the most of the equalizing features of the cloud. Without the existing burden of legacy apps and the traditional mindset, they are adopting new technologies at a rate that is often faster than their counterparts elsewhere.

Determining Your Online Legacy

Technology tends to outpace social factors. The Internet for example has created a whole new set of challenges that we as a society have yet to address but will be forced to do so in the years to come. As more and more individuals pass on, their friends and family are questioning what happens to their online presence. Disturbingly, their status messages are sometimes still set to “available” on social messaging applications.

While Facebook for example has a few limited options for memorializing a profile, these are not uniformly applicable to everyone. Social networking is just one part of the problem. What about hosted blogs and other paid Internet services? When they switch off, will the data stored in them be lost forever? It’s time more people started thinking of how they would like their online legacy to be handled after they die.

Twitter and Apple – Are They a Good Fit?

twitter-apple-cloudLeaving aside the question of whether or not Twitter will allow itself to be acquired by Apple, certain rumors last week led to several analysts questioning whether or not Apple would benefit by acquiring a company that has strong web credentials built into its culture.

In the battle between Apple and Google, Apple has struggled to make its web properties match up to its competitor while Google has been fast closing the design gap that exists between Android smartphones and the iPhone. If Apple wants to stay in the game, it has to quickly imbibe the DNA of web applications into its corporate structure. And for that, a fresh infusion of blood might be just what the doctor ordered.

Will the strategy work? Or will Apple’s corporate culture end up killing the openness and enthusiasm of the smaller web-based company instead?

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