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Disruptive Nature of Cloud Computing and PaaS

Cloud Computing and PaaS

Too often, discussions about "cloud computing" are met with skepticism and inside jokes that it is more about marketing than it is about delivering real value.  In his excellent analysis of why Cloud Computing is disruptive, Ric Telford over at IBM disagree's.  He talks about a number of key factors that create a disruptive technology, which he defines as the ability to rapidly displace existing technologies.  He mentions things like ease of use, empowerment and efficiency.  He alludes to dramatic productivity gains and cost reductions, and he uses real examples.

I am particularly a fan of the "empowerment" aspect.  I think the power of empowerment can't be fully understood or understated.  My uneducated feeling is that much of the economic gains of the 90's had to do with productivity increase that resulted from the rise of the PC and common tools like word processors and spreadsheets - what used to require a secretarial staff and data entry department is now done by an administrator and an executive - and any time you introduce such massive gains you create new worlds of opportunity, and the cycle is self fulfilling.

Although he tends to focus on infrastructure, Ric's analysis is heavily supported by developments in Platform as a Service as well, which is one of three segments of the cloud computing trend.  With Platform as a Service, the customer doesn't need to understand anything about systems, administration, provisioning or installation of IDE's.  With 5th Generation Language (5GL) PaaS, the user doesn't even need to know how to write code.

So imagine that...someone without formal training, using "the cloud", can create a custom application without any real knowledge of the technology behind it, for his or her business operation, at a fraction of the time and cost of previous alternatives.  Isn't that disruptive?

More Stories By Treff LaPlante

Treff LaPlante has been involved with technology for nearly 20 years. At WorkXpress, he passionately drives the vision of making customized enterprise software easy, fast, and affordable.

Prior to joining WorkXpress, Treff was director of operations for eBay's HomesDirect. While there, he created strategic relationships with Fortune 500 companies and national broker networks and began his foray into the development of flexible workflow software technologies. He served on the management team that sold HomesDirect to eBay.

During his time at Vivendi-Universal Interactive, Treff was director of strategy. In addition to M&A activities, Treff broadly applied quantitative management principles to sales, marketing, and product line functions. Treff served as the point person for the management team that sold Cendant Software to Vivendi-Universal. Earlier positions included product management and national sales trainer for Energy Design Systems, an engineering software company. Treff began his professional career as a metals trader for Randall Trading Corp, a commodities firm that specialized in bartering and transporting various metals and coal from the then-dissolving Soviet Union.

Treff received his MBA from Pepperdine University and a BS in chemical engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. http://www.workxpress.com

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